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December 3, 2014 5:10 AM, EST

UTi Denies Reported Talks of Advanced Sale

UTi Worldwide Inc.

UTi Worldwide Inc., the U.S. logistics firm whose biggest shareholder is hedge fund P2 Capital Partners, is in advanced talks to sell itself to DSV A/S, the Nordic region’s biggest trucking company, Bloomberg News reported without citing a source for information.

UPDATE: UTi confirms “exploratory conversations have taken place in response to an inquiry from DSV A/S,” but in a statement about the talks the company said “those discussions never progressed beyond a preliminary stage. Currently there are no discussions taking place between the companies.” Go here for an updated article.

UTi, which ranks No. 9 on Transport Topics Top 50 Logistics Companies, has been in sale discussions since mid-2014 and could reach an agreement with DSV as soon as this month, the news service said, noting that the source requested anonymity because the talks are private.

Lance D’Amico, UTi’s chief legal officer, declined to comment, saying the company doesn’t discuss market rumors. Spokesmen for DSV couldn’t immediately be reached for comment outside of regular business hours.

UTi has lost about one-quarter of its market value since disclosing Feb. 25 that it had breached some loan covenants.

Shares of Long Beach, California-based UTi jumped 20%, giving the company a market value of about $1.5 billion.

Negotiations with Broendby, Denmark-based DSV is the 10th-largest forwarder listed in TT’s Logistics 50.

DSV, founded by 10 truckers in 1976, has expanded through acquisitions to become Denmark’s sixth-biggest listed company by revenue. Chief Executive Officer Jens Bjoern Andersen said in February that acquisitions “will be high on the agenda for DSV in 2014.”

Air and ocean freight forwarding were UTi’s biggest businesses during its 2014 fiscal year, accounting for about 59% of revenue.