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BRIEFLY / FREIGHT SERVICES

UPS to Buy Retail Shipper Mail Boxes Etc.

March 03, 2001|Bloomberg News

United Parcel Service Inc. agreed to buy retail shipping franchiser Mail Boxes Etc. in a bid to capture a bigger share of the growing business in home and small-office shipments. San Diego-based Mail Boxes Etc., a privately held subsidiary of U.S. Office Products, has franchised 4,300 stores worldwide. Terms of the all-cash deal were not disclosed. "This is another way to broaden our presence on the retail side," UPS spokesman Norman Black said. The purchase does not mean that UPS plans to abandon The UPS Store, a two-outlet retail shipping experiment the company started last year in Atlanta, he said. Mail Box stores will continue to offer service by UPS rivals, such as FedEx and DHL, Black said. Mail Boxes Etc. Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Amos will continue to lead the company, which will become a UPS subsidiary. The company said no layoffs are expected in its 300-member corporate staff. Shares of Atlanta-based UPS rose 94 cents to close at $56.94 on the New York Stock Exchange, before the deal was announced. Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Office Products fell 1 cent to close at 7.5 cents in over-the-counter trading.

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