Deutsche Bahn to sell DB Schenker

Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Frans Berkelaar

Deutsche Bahn and the German government have agreed to sell DB Schenker, DB’s subsidiary that handles logistics. The sale could be approved by the DB supervisory board already this year. This decision had been discussed since Chancellor Scholz’s election last December, supported by the Greens and the Free Democrats (FDP).

DB Schenker is currently valued between 12 and 20 billion euros. However, given the current global economic situation, calculations are likely to be influenced by the war in Ukraine and the consequent energy crisis.

Banks will probably start receiving proposals on the sale process over the next few months. This makes it likely that banks will be able to schedule appointments already in December before the pre-marketing process starts in 2023. Moreover, sources told Reuters that there is no rush for the sale, which might as well take place in 2024 both as a direct sale or public offering.

DB Schenker and its recent history

DB acquired Schenker in 2002 and became DB’s logistics subsidiary in 2007. Over the past few years, Schenker experienced some controversies. In 2016 the company was convicted for briberies in Russia occurred between 2010 and 2012. In 2020, the company was accused of unfair price dumping during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Schenker keeps denying these last allegations.

Schenker, based in Essen, has 75,000 employees worldwide and accounts for more than a third of Deutsche Bahn’s revenues. In the first half of 2022, the business made an operating profit of almost 1.2 billion euros, lifting the whole company back into profit.

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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