UPS abandons Europe deal

UPS scrapped plans to grow in Europe through the acquisition of Dutch delivery company TNT Express because European regulators were getting ready to reject the $6.9 billion deal.

UPS offered in March to buy TNT, Europe’s second-largest delivery company, to better compete with Europe’s largest, Deutsche Post’s DHL. Regulators objected, saying the deal would reduce competition in the market for express delivery of small packages.

UPS said Monday that it had proposed “tangible remedies,” but after meeting with regulators on Friday, the Atlanta company told TNT it saw no prospect of the deal being approved.

Swiss watch maker expands

Switzerland’s biggest watch maker, Swatch Group AG, will pay about $1 billion to buy Canada’s Harry Winston watch and jewelry brand, officials from both companies said.

The Biel, Switzerland-based company agreed to pay $750 million to acquire the brand from Toronto-based Harry Winston Diamond Corp. and will also assume as much as $250 million in debt, a joint statement said Monday.

The acquisition includes the Harry Winston production company in Geneva and more than 500 employees globally.

Plan to sell Dell Inc. rumored

Dell’s stock soared 13 percent Monday on a report that the struggling personal computer maker is in talks to take the company private.

Citing unidentified people familiar with the situation, Bloomberg News said Dell has discussed a potential sale with at least two firms that specialize in buying companies whose stocks have fallen out of favor. The report didn’t name the interested firms.

Dell Inc., based in Round Rock, Texas, declined to comment.

– From news service reports