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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

[ALI] Deutsche Post Is Set to Acquire Exel of Britain

Another giant acquisition in logistics business.

September 19, 2005

Deutsche Post Is Set to Acquire Exel of Britain

LONDON, Sept. 18 - Europe's biggest postal service, Deutsche Post, is
expected to announce a 5.5 billion euro ($6.73 billion) acquisition
of Exel of Britain on Monday, according to several people involved in
the negotiations, as the German company continues to expand beyond
mail delivery.

Exel is the world's largest logistics provider, or contractor
handling the shipping, warehousing and delivery of goods and raw
materials for other corporations. Its clients include
DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen and Marks & Spencer. Deutsche Post, which
loses its postal monopoly in Germany in 2007 and has been seeking to
diversify, already owns the shipping company DHL.

The deal is expected to value Exel at £12.40 ($22.43) a share, barely
above Friday's closing price of £12.28 a share.

About a quarter of the offering price will be in Deutsche Post
shares, the people involved in the talks said. Exel board members
held a meeting on Sunday to approve the deal, an executive involved
in the talks said.

Exel's chief executive, John Allan, is expected to be given a seat on
Deutsche Post's management board, and will head the company's
expanded logistics division. After the deal is closed, the two
companies will control nearly 10 percent of the world's logistics

Neither company would comment on reports of a deal.

A deal would combine two growing businesses in the fragmented
logistics industry. Exel has 111,000 employees and facilities in more
than 135 countries. The company has been growing through
acquisitions, buying 10 companies since 2002.

In July, Exel said that revenues for the first half of 2005 increased
45 percent, to £3.64 billion, and pretax profits, before good will
and exceptional items, were up 42 percent to £81.8 million.

Deutsche Post, which is based in Bonn, employs 380,000 people
worldwide and generated 43 billion euros in revenues in 2004. In
addition to local mail, express mail and logistics, the company has a
financial services division. Express mail is the largest division and
accounted for 40 percent of revenues in the first half of 2005.

United Parcel Service, the Atlanta-based shipping company, was pegged
by analysts as a potential late bidder for Exel, but an offer has not
yet materialized and none was expected on Sunday afternoon. Hostile
bids are unusual in the logistics industry, because takeovers require
preapproval from a company's contracted clients.

Deutsche Post and Exel notified the markets on Sept. 1 that they were
in preliminary talks about a deal. Exel's shares have gained 4
percent on the London Stock Exchange since then.

Merrill Lynch and UBS acted as financial advisers to Exel, and Morgan
Stanley advised Deutsche Post.

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