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Austrian Post Steps in Bulgaria with M&BM Express Deal.

Austrian Post has continued its expansion in Eastern Europe by sealing deals in Poland and Bulgaria.

The Post announced it has acquired a 26% stake in Sofia-based M&BM Express, a hybrid mail specialist in Bulgaria.

The deal price was not disclosed even though the Austrian Post is a public company, listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange.

The deal included the option for Austrian Post to take a further 25% stake in 2013, handing it a controlling interest, and a further stake in 2014 that would take its ownership to 76% in the company.

Austrian Post said M&BM Express was the "number one" alternative letter mail service provider in the Bulgarian market, which has been open to competition since 2011.

In particular, it said the firm was a market leader in the field of hybrid mail, where mail documents are sent by mailers electronically to be printed out in four printing centers in Bulgaria for final delivery in physical form.

M&BM Express has about 2,500 staff and delivered 75m mail items in 2011, of which 65m were hybrid mail items.

"We chose the "M & BM Express" because of their reputation as a provider with an individual approach to customers and staff of 2,500 motivated employees," said Andreas Dragosits, senior vice president for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) Mail at Austrian Post.

Bulgaria is the sixth country in the region where the Austrian company builds a direct mail presence.

The Austrian Post are not interested in the privatization of the postal service state-owned company Bulgarian Posts, Andreas Dragosits said.

At the beginning of last year Bulgaria's parliament approved amendments, which demonopolized the postal services market.

Thus, as of January 1, 2011, the monopoly of Bulgarian Posts on small parcels a less than 50grams a was eliminated.

Austria's investments in Bulgaria totaled EUR 6.5 B at the end of 2011.
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Publication:Sofia News Agency
Date:May 31, 2012
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