DHL makes offer for remaining shares of Blue Dart Express Ltd08/17/2006, 01:00 PM CEST
Full ownership to enhance DHL's operating flexibility, streamline service offering
DHL, the world's leading express and logistics company, has offered to purchase the shares in Blue Dart Express Ltd it does not already own, and delist the Indian express company in a further step to strengthen and expand its market leading position in one of the world's fastest-growing markets. DHL, via its Singapore subsidiary DHL Express (Singapore) Pte Ltd, currently owns 81.03% of Blue Dart.
Commenting on the Delisting Proposal, Greg Tanner, a Director of DHL Express (Singapore) Pte Ltd and also a Director on the Board of Blue Dart, said, "Obtaining full ownership of Blue Dart will enhance our operating flexibility to meet the business needs of our customers, and streamline our service offering in the region. Given the low liquidity in the stock, we believe that this offer provides an attractive exit opportunity to the public shareholders of Blue Dart."
DHL is prepared to acquire the shares offered to it under a Reverse Book Building process at INR 550 per share, subject to all requisite shareholder and regulatory approvals being obtained, including the number of shares required for delisting being offered at this price.
This price represents a premium of approximately 10% to the average of the closing prices of Blue Dart shares as quoted on the Indian National Stock Exchange (NSE) in the six months preceding the August 14 Delisting Proposal, and a 16% premium to the closing price of INR 474 per share on the NSE on 11 August 2006. The price is also a considerable premium to the INR 350 price at which DHL purchased its original shareholding less than one and a half years ago.
"Under current SEBI rules, there is no downside to DHL not proceeding with the Reverse Book Building process if the offered price is unacceptable, as we are not under any regulatory compulsion to either delist Blue Dart or reduce our shareholding from the current levels. DHL is very happy to remain as an 81.03% shareholder in the Company if the delisting process is not completed," he added.
As the leading international express and logistics company, DHL has an extensive history of 27 years in India. DHL has invested US$250 million in expanding the company's footprint in India in recent years. This includes US$163 million for the acquisition of the majority stake in Blue Dart Express in 2004.
India is a major engine for growth of DHL's business in Asia Pacific, and the company is committed to provide superior customer service based on a world-class network infrastructure. In India, DHL, together with Blue Dart, have over 40,000 customers serviced by 7,400 employees through a combined national network of 14,000 locations, and a fleet of almost 3,000 vehicles.