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FedEx looks to e-deliveries with Kinko's buyout

The air and ground transport service is acquiring business services company Kinko's in a $2.4 billion cash deal. Kinko's will provide a leg up in electronic document delivery, FedEx says.

FedEx announced Tuesday that it would acquire Net-savvy business-services company Kinko's in a $2.4 billion cash deal.

Kinko's, which offers a range of Internet services from online printing to Wi-Fi access, will provide FedEx a leg up in electronic document delivery, said Jess Bunn, a FedEx spokesman.

"For years, FedEx was in the physical delivery of documents, but now we are moving into the electronic delivery of documents," said Bunn. "Kinko's receives electronic documents, and prints them out. The logical extension is to have them delivered by FedEx."

FedEx, an air and ground transport service for packages and mail, announced the acquisition as part of its plan to expand its global retail presence.

Before the merger announcement, FedEx operated full-service counters at 134 of Kinko's 1,200 stores and had been Kinko's exclusive shipper since 1988. The merger will result in Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx rolling out its kiosks to all Kinko's stores worldwide.

Kinko's, which began operations in 1970 as a photocopying service, later expanded into other business services, such as videoconferencing. And now the privately held company receives about 50 percent of its revenues from digitally transmitted documents, Bunn said.

Kinko's will continue to be headquartered in Dallas, with its management team expected to remain intact, FedEx said.