TNT Express announced today that it had sold its domestic China road express operation (Hoau) to funds managed by CITIC PE, the private equity arm of a Chinese state-owned investment company. TNT provided little detail, other than to say: “The transaction and the subsequent settlements are subject to regulatory approvals. It is expected to close in the second half of 2013 with settlement of part of the purchase price to be cleared in 2014.”
Cargo Facts believes, but has not been able to confirm, that the sale of Hoau may be linked to a deal that would resolve one of TNT’s other big problems – the disposal of its two 747-400ERFs. This is rumored to be in the form of a two-year agreement under which TNT would operate the freighters for a Chinese company.
We also note that while TNT is exiting the domestic China express market, it “will continue to develop its international express delivery service to and from China.”
TNT purchased Shanghai-based Hoau in 2007, and while LTL and day-definite delivery volumes have grown, profitablilty has been a problem. In 2012, the business generated revenue of €261 million but posted an operating loss of €13 million.