United Parcel Service Inc said on Wednesday that EU regulators are extending their review of the company's planned takeover of Dutch peer TNT Express NV <TNTE.AS> because antitrust conditions will not be met by an earlier deadline.
UPS, the world's No. 1 package delivery company, now expects the deal to close in early 2013 instead of in the fourth quarter of this year.
UPS and TNT Express agreed to a European Commission request to extend the investigation period for review of additional information related to the 5.2 billion euro (4.11 billion pounds) deal, UPS said in a statement.
The company said it would seek another extension of the offer period if conditions tied to competition have not been met by the new November 9 deadline.
UPS announced the planned acquisition on March 19.
EU antitrust regulators in July stepped up the probe into the transaction, the biggest in UPS's 105-year history, citing worries about concentration in the small package delivery sector.
"We have said that we recognize this is a very large transaction and it's not at all unusual in a transaction of this size for the Commission to ask for more time for review," said UPS spokesman Norman Black.
Analysts have expected that UPS might need to divest some assets and restructure operations based on overlap with TNT Express' network as well as regulatory restrictions.
UPS, under European law, cannot own TNT's airline operations as an American company.
"We're working very closely with TNT to make sure that the airline continues to function and support the TNT operation," Black noted.
(Reporting by Lynn Adler in New York; editing by Matthew Lewis)