EP Europost to Compete with Deutsche Post

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TNT Post Group, the Dutch postal, express and logistics company, and Hermes General Service, a delivery service subsidiary of German mail-order giant Otto-Versand, said yesterday that they have formed a joint venture designed to compete against Deutsche Post in mass-mail delivery in Germany.


The new venture, EP Europost AG, would serve around 36 million addresses in Germany in the next few years. EP Europost could begin operations Jan. 1, provided European Union authorities approve the venture.


HGS has a network of 3,500 parcel shops, from newsstands to convenience stores, that customers can use as a second address. HGS will hold a 29 percent stake in EP Europost and will incorporate its parcel shops, along with 565 other delivery points, into the venture.


TPG chief Harry Koostra said, "We reached the conclusion that there is a great need for a further provider" in Germany.


Analysts said the announcement shows that TPG is making efforts to gain footholds in other European markets, unlike Deutsche Post, which is not expected to respond quickly because it is still busy dealing with recent acquisitions.


Germany is Europe's largest market for mass-mail deliveries such as catalogs and direct mail pieces. The segment accounts for around one-quarter of the letter-delivery market, which TPG estimates to have a volume of 2.8 billion euros.


Meanwhile, TNT Post Group reiterated yesterday that it expects 2001 full-year net income from ordinary operations to rise at least 20 percent.


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