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UPS in talks to buy Dutch rival

US delivery company United Parcel Service is in talks to buy Dutch rival TNT NV, a source familiar with the talks said.

The person, who declined to be identified because the talks are private, said the discussions were in the early stages but could provide no further detail.

The Sunday Telegraph first reported that UPS was planning a €10 billion ($15.2 billion) bid for TNT.

A UPS spokesman said the company would never discuss rumors or speculation about mergers or acquisitions. TNT officials were not immediately reachable for comment.

UPS has a market value of $66.26 billion while TNT is worth $14.24 billion.

TNT shares have swung wildly in July and August, first on talk that had prepared, and then abandoned, a bid for TNT. TNT shares have risen 14% in the past week on market talk of a UPS bid.

TNT shares have traded between €18.49, a four-year-low, and €27.25 in the last two months.

Much of recent market talk driving the shares have centered around a scenario where UPS and a private equity group would buy and break up TNT, according to traders.

The Sunday Telegraph reported UPS had hired consultants AT Kearney to prepare a report on buying TNT and that its bankers from Morgan Stanley are in discussions with TNT. The newspaper also said the discussions involved the possible sale of TNT's postal division to private equity, citing unnamed sources. (Reuters)