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Panalpina Soars as Ulber Replaces Ribar as Chief

Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG soared the most in more than four years after saying Peter Ulber will succeed Monika Ribar at the helm of the Swiss freight-forwarding company.

The shares rose as much as 13 percent, the biggest intraday rise since March 2009. The stock was 12 percent higher at 94.20 francs as of 10:05 a.m. in Zurich, giving the Basel, Switzerland-based company a market value of 2.24 billion francs ($2.35 billion). More than 62,000 shares changed hands, double the three-month daily average.

Ulber, 53, a former Kuehne & Nagel International AG executive board member, will become chief executive officer on June 1, as part of a succession planning prepared with Ribar, Panalpina said in a statement today. Ribar, 53, will concentrate on non-executive board roles outside of the company, the Basel, Switzerland-based company said.

“While this move is not solving Panalpina’s operational issues over night, the company is gaining significant DNA from Kuehne & Nagel,” Michael Foeth, an analyst with Bank Vontobel AG in Zurich said in a note to clients. “Together with Robert Erni as CFO, as well as other high level managers from Kuehne, Panalpina puts in place a strong management team which may drive a profound cultural change.”

Ribar is one of Switzerland’s few female business leaders along with EMS-Chemie Holding AG CEO Magdalena Martullo-Blocher and Alpiq Holding AG Chief Jasmin Staiblin. Ribar served for almost 23 years as a member of Panalpina’s management, the company said.

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