United Parcel Service Inc. will pursue smaller European acquisitions and growth in its own business after its $6.9 billion purchase of TNT Express NV fell apart, people familiar with the matter said.
The world's biggest package-delivery company learned in a meeting Friday with the European Commission that the deal would be rejected, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren't public. That triggered a weekend of planning sessions in which Atlanta-based UPS decided to abandon the transaction, the people said.
Seeking targets smaller than Hoofddorp, Netherlands-based TNT may help UPS avoid regulatory challenges like those that thwarted what would have been the biggest deal since its founding in 1907. UPS has operated in Europe for 35 years and is spending $200 million to expand its air hub in Cologne, Germany.
The TNT acquisition had been announced last March.