Photo credits @ DB Schenker

More than ten serious buyers interested in DB Schenker

According to insiders, Deutsche Bahn is expecting more than ten serious bidders for the multi-billion euro sale of its rail logistics subsidiary Schenker.

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Initial price offers for rail logistics subsidiary Schenker must be submitted by the end of March. A person familiar with the sale told Reuters: “I think it will be in the double digits.

After the March deadline, the number of bidders is expected to be significantly reduced, with the next stage being due diligence.

The contract is expected to be signed in the second half of the year, with the final sale scheduled for 2025. 

According to industry sources, the purchase price is expected to be between 12 and 15 billion euros. However, Deutsche Bahn will only complete the sale if it is economically advantageous for the group.

With 75,000 employees worldwide, the Essen-based logistics provider Schenker accounts for more than a third of Deutsche Bahn’s turnover. According to an insider who spoke to Reuters, the rail logistics subsidiary’s turnover will be a good 19 billion euros.

The state-owned company wants to sell Schenker to concentrate on its core railway business in Germany and reduce its debts of more than €30 billion.

Schenker attracts a lot of attention

Citing industry sources, Reuters adds that there is no shortage of potential buyers. Competitors include Danish freight forwarder DSV and shipping company Maersk.

Four major US financial investors are also mentioned, such as Blackstone, which has also moved into robo-advised fund management and ETFs through acquisitions of various technology and digital companies. This makes it one of the market leaders in both active and passive fund management.

Another US financial investor mentioned is Advent, which has made over 415 private equity investments in 42 countries, including in Evri, a leading parcel delivery company in the UK, formerly Hermes UK. The financial investor CVC, which has invested in DKV Mobility and most recently in the Douglas perfumery chain, is also interested in acquiring DB Schenker.

Recent US financial investors include Carlyle, which recently acquired Bochum-based software company GBTEC, Munich-based railway technology specialist Schaltbau and Siemens’ industrial gearbox subsidiary.

It is assumed that a Schenker competitor is likely to pay slightly more for Schenker than a financial investor.

Parcel delivery service UPS is also in the bidding race, while Germany’s DHL Group officially withdrew from the race this week and does not intend to submit a bid. The reason given by the group is that DB Schenker does not fit DHL’s profile.

Arab investors such as ADQ, one of the three sovereign wealth funds of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and the Saudi Arabian logistics company Bahri have also been mentioned as potential buyers.