Buy out DSV, not DB Schenker
Deutsche Bahn’s supervisory board today agreed to allow management to prepare for a sale of 100% of DB Schenker. However, the rail group, which will keep 100% of proceeds, said it “does not want to rush a possible sale”.
“A starting date for a specific divestment process is dependent on the overall situation and not yet decided,” it said. “A sale shall only take place if it is of financial advantage for DB Group compared to keeping DB Schenker in the group.”
The next steps involve DB’s management board “examining and preparing the case for a potential sale…Decisions as to the categorical initiation of a divestment process and the form any sale may take will be made separately at a later date.”
DB acknowledged that DB Schenker, which is understood to be valued at some $25bn, needed to go it alone to enable it to compete in the top echelons of forwarders. It is the ‘big’ one, in terms of acquisitions, said one analyst.
“DB Schenker has made a significant contribution to the DB group’s economic growth over many years. In the medium term, however, DB Schenker will require larger financial resources and more independence to make international acquisitions with a view to retaining and enhancing its market position in the ever more competitive logistics sector, and its enterprise value in the future. For this reason, a sale could open up new opportunities for DB Schenker in terms of growth and development.”
The statement said nothing about the possible route to a sale, but it is known that Schenker’s management are not keen on, say, an acquisition by DSV that would effectively take it out of the game as a German forwarder. The management is thought to see itself as an acquirer of rivals, rather than one to be acquired.
An investment by private equity is believed to be the preferred option, while Premium maintains the IPO route is preferable to maximise value.