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The Associated Press May 29, 2012, 4:05PM ET

FedEx buying Brazilian shipper Rapidão Cometa

FedEx said it will buy a Brazilian transportation company, its third acquisition since rival UPS announced its purchase of TNT Express in Europe earlier this year.

The UPS deal is a $6.8 billion acquisition that will dramatically expand its footprint in Europe. FedEx hasn't done a blockbuster deal like that, but it has now made three smaller acquisitions this year that will give it a bigger presence in Europe and now Latin America.

On Tuesday, FedEx Corp. said it will buy transportation and logistics company Rapidão Cometa Logística e Transportes SA, one of the largest logistics companies in Brazil. Terms were not disclosed.

Rapidão has been FedEx's authorized representative in Brazil for 11 years. FedEx said the acquisition will give its customers access to Rapidão's network in Brazil, which has the largest economy in Latin America.

With Rapidão, FedEx gets about 770 vehicles and trailers, approximately 9,000 workers in Brazil and 45 branches. FedEx said it would integrate Rapidão into its larger operation over the next 18 months to two years.

Atlanta-based UPS, the world's biggest package courier, expects to complete its blockbuster purchase of Dutch rival TNT Express in the third quarter. TNT adds about 75,000 workers and reported yearly revenue of about $9 billion.

FedEx has made much smaller acquisitions. Earlier this month it said it would buy Polish courier company Opek, getting a ground delivery network with about $70 million in annual sales. And last month FedEx said it had agreed to buy French business-to-business express transportation company TATEX. It has annual revenue of about $188 million.

FedEx, the world's second-largest package delivery company, is based in Memphis, Tenn.

Fedex shares rose $1.70, or 1.9 percent, to $90.98 in late afternoon trading as UPS shares rose 57 cents to $75.51 per share.

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