Panalpina Soars as Ulber Replaces Ribar as Chief

April 3 (Bloomberg) -- 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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Winters in Zurich at pwinters3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net