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Merger of Mail/Shipping Giants

How will UPS' purchase of Mail Boxes Etc. affect franchisees?

As franchisees gathered at the Mail Boxes Etc.'s area franchisee conference on March 2, representatives from the postal center franchise and shipper UPS were discussing a deal they had in the works. That afternoon, the news hit the nation's wires: UPS had, in fact, bought MBE.

To find out what changes are in store for MBE's domestic and international franchisees, Franchise Zone spoke with Jim Amos, president and CEO of the No. 2 franchise in Entrepreneur's 2001 Franchise 500®:

Franchise Zone: Has Mail Boxes Etc. always been interested in being purchased by a shipping company?

Jim Amos: We've always been open to the possibility that one or more of carriers would be interested in acquiring Mail Boxes. One of my personal goals when I first came here about 4 years ago was to strengthen and broaden the relationship between Mail Boxes and UPS, and I'd have to say this is the culmination of that goal in a very significant way.

FZ: What does UPS' acquisition of Mail Boxes Etc. mean for MBE franchisees? Will it mean changes to the franchise program at all?

Amos: It won't change the program, but it will certainly enhance the program. We're bringing two world-class brands together, UPS-which, for 15 years, has been the No. 1 logistics, packaging and transportation company-and MBE-which, for the last 11 years, has been the No. 1 packaging and shipping company in America. The synergy of these two companies has to ultimately have a positive impact on the unit economics of the system and the overall support for franchisees.

FZ: Will your current franchisees have to re-sign their agreements with the new company?

Amos: The contractual agreements, the franchise agreements, convey from one owner to the next. Nothing changes for our franchisees. It's essentially a seamless transaction, except they wake up the next morning and find out they're in a stronger financial structure. The moment the press release was released, the value of their business was enhanced through the acquisition. That's a very good thing.

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