Germany’s state-owned development bank sold a 5 percent Deutsche Post AG stake for 924 million euros ($1.17 billion), taking advantage of the stock’s increase to a four-year high.
KfW Group sold 60 million shares for 15.40 euros per share, the Frankfurt-based lender said in an e-mailed statement today. The price is a 3.6 percent discount to yesterday’s close of
KfW reduced its stake in Europe’s largest postal operator to 25.5 percent. The bank is raising money as it plans the purchase of a 7.5 percent stake in European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. currently owned by Daimler AG. That holding is currently valued at 1.9 billion euros.
“KfW decided to take advantage of the favorable conditions in the equity markets in order to continue the successful privatization process of Deutsche Post,” Guenther Braeunig, a KfW executive board member, said in the statement.
Deutsche Post, based in Bonn, climbed 2.7 percent yesterday to its highest since September 2008. The stock dropped today as much as 73 cents, or 4.6 percent, to 15.25 euros and was 3.2 percent lower, valuing the company at 18.7 billion euros, as of 11:47 a.m. in Frankfurt trading.
Deutsche Post raised its full-year forecast last month after reporting a 2.6 billion-euro second-quarter profit, exceeding analyst expectations. The company, which is also the world’s biggest carrier of air and sea freight by volume, has avoided the effects of the European debt crisis by focusing on expansion of express-package and cargo businesses in emerging markets while seeking to stabilize the mail unit’s earnings.
“The timing is pretty good, if you look at the recent run up in the shares,” said Nigel van Putten, an Amsterdam-based ING analyst with a “hold” rating on Deutsche Post. “But I don’t think the 5 percent is going to make much of a difference to Deutsche Post in terms of the government’s control. The 25.5 percent is still a blocking minority.”
Deutsche Post is seeking to increase profit by as much as 45 percent by 2015 by trimming administrative costs and expanding the DHL express-service unit. The German postal operator is targeting annual earnings before interest and taxes of 3.35 billion euros to 3.55 billion euros. That compares with Ebit in 2011 of 2.44 billion euros.
United Parcel Service Inc., the world’s biggest package-delivery company, is seeking to expand in Europe with a 5.16 billion-euro deal to acquire TNT Express NV that would vault it to equal footing with DHL.
DHL, acquired in 2002, is aiming for one-third of its revenue from Asia within five years, and is adding a global forwarding hub to an express-delivery center in Shanghai and a supply-chain base in Hong Kong. The region currently accounts for 20 percent of DHL sales.
KfW and Daimler aim to complete the EADS transaction by the end of the year, EADS Chairman Bodo Uebber, who is also Daimler’s chief financial officer, said in May.
KfW was advised on the Deutsche Post transaction by Rothschild and the placement’s bookrunner was Bank of America Merrill Lynch.