In a significant development, Deutsche Bahn AG, the state-controlled rail operator and owner of major German logistics firm DB Schenker, has officially launched the bidding process for the sale of its subsidiary. The move comes as Deutsche Bahn grapples with substantial debt, prompting the need to generate funds through the sale of the lucrative logistics entity.
The conditions set by Deutsche Bahn for the sale emphasize the necessity of evident economic advantages for the group in all aspects of the transaction. Industry analysts widely consider Danish logistics powerhouse DSV as the leading contender to acquire DB Schenker. The anticipated price tag for the acquisition is approximately EUR 13.5 billion, marking it as the largest acquisition in DSV’s history and potentially positioning the company as the world’s largest freight forwarder.
DSV’s proficiency in integrating acquisitions and identifying synergies has positioned it favorably in the eyes of experts. Sydbank’s senior analyst, Mikkel Emil Jensen, highlights DSV’s potential to offer the best price by creating robust synergies.
However, concerns loom over DSV’s track record of implementing austerity measures, particularly workforce reductions. Reports suggest that DSV has historically cut around 45% of employees in acquired companies, raising eyebrows among German politicians. The political landscape must navigate the delicate task of explaining the ramifications of a potential sale and its impact on employment.
Deutsche Bahn commenced exploring sale options for DB Schenker in December 2022. The final sale approval rests with the company’s supervisory board, comprising several German ministers. The process remains contingent on broader developments in the capital market, as outlined in the official statement.