Airborne Confirms Talks With DHL On Sale Of Ground Business

Airborne Inc. confirmed in a statement yesterday that it is in talks with rival DHL Worldwide Express over the sale of Airborne's ground operations for cash.

Brussels-based DHL, which is owned by Deutsche Post AG of Germany, currently lacks a ground delivery network in the United States. The purchase of Airborne potentially could make DHL more competitive with UPS and FedEx.

While several news reports speculated a deal might be reached today, Airborne said no agreement had been reached and "there can be no assurance one will be reached." If successfully consummated, the deal would make Airborne's air operations an independent public company under the continued ownership of its current shareholders.

In its statement, Airborne said it would not make any more public statements on the negotiations until discussions over the sale were finalized or terminated.

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