DHL Worldwide buys Airborne's ground unit

Third-party logistics carrier DHL Worldwide Express confirmed today that it will buy the ground delivery business of Seattle-based freight firm Airborne Inc. for about $1.05 billion. Airborne's air operations will be separated from the company's ground operations and will become an independent public company, called ABX Air Inc. It will be wholly owned by Airborne's shareholders, who will receive

Third-party logistics carrier DHL Worldwide Express confirmed today that it will buy the ground delivery business of Seattle-based freight firm Airborne Inc. for about $1.05 billion.

Airborne's air operations will be separated from the company's ground operations and will become an independent public company, called ABX Air Inc. It will be wholly owned by Airborne's shareholders, who will receive one share of ABX Air for each Airborne share held.

The deal, which still faces regulatory and shareholder approvals, will create a strengthened competitor to FedEx and UPS. The companies expect the deal to close this summer.

"The UPS/FedEx `duopoly' has a 79% share of the U.S. express delivery market and the combination of DHL and Airborne will create a much stronger competitor," said Airborne CEO Carl Donaway.

The companies said the U.S. ground operations of Airborne and DHL will operate under the DHL brand and cooperate in certain agreements, such as aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance matters.

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