Germany’s Deutsche Post DHL Group agreed to acquire UK Mail Group for 242.7 million pounds, ($315.5 million), bolstering its presence in one of Europe’s biggest e-commerce markets at a time of booming online orders for clothes, household goods and other merchandise.
Deutsche Post, Europe’s leading parcel-delivery company, said the offer of 440 pence a UK Mail share represents a premium of around 43% to the British company’s closing price of 307.5 pence on Sept. 27.
UK Mail’s directors intend to recommend unanimously that shareholders vote in favor, Deutsche Post said.
The deal comes amid frenetic recent corporate activity in the logistics sector, particularly in Europe where global industry leaders United Parcel Service Inc., FedEx Corp. and Deutsche Post are jockeying for position. At the same time, new players are entering the market, notably Amazon.com Inc. itself, which is laying the groundwork for its own shipping business in the U.S.
According to Dealogic, 2016 is on track to be the biggest year for German outbound M&A since 2007, boosted by Bayer’s planned $57 billion acquisition of Monsanto Co. , and recent acquisitions by Fresenius SE and Lanxess AG .
The U.K. parcel delivery market has become increasingly competitive in recent years.
Deutsche Post’s offer for UK Mail is partly opportunistic after the sharp recent decline in the U.K. company’s share price over the past year amid technical problems with automated parcel-sorting equipment at a new facility it opened in Ryton, central England.