Friday, January 22

Germany’s Knorr-Bremse to Decide on IPO in September: Boersen-Zeitung

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German brake systems maker Knorr-Bremse will decide on a possible stock market flotation in September, Chief Financial Officer Ralph Heuwing told German daily Boersen-Zeitung.

“As soon as everyone is back from vacation the company will decide whether and when an initial public offering (IPO) will take place,” Heuwing told the paper’s Saturday edition.

Reuters reported last year that Knorr-Bremse had hired banks to prepare for a potential stock market listing in 2018 after company owner Heinz Hermann Thiele said in September 2017 the company was considering various options, including an IPO. [nL8N1OJ21K]

Heuwing said Knorr-Bremse, which makes brakes for trucks and trains, would not issue new capital as part of the potential IPO. Instead, majority owner Heinz Hermann Thiele and his daughter Julia Thiele-Schürhoff would reap the proceeds of a potential deal from selling existing shares.

“If an IPO takes place, it is plausible that the family would initially keep control and that the free float would remain below 50 percent,” he said.

According to people close to the matter, the family owners could sell a 20 to 40 percent stake of Knorr-Bremse in the IPO, valuing the company at 10 billion euros ($11.7 billion) or more.

That would make Knorr-Bremse one of the largest IPOs in 2018 in Germany, which has so far seen bumper flotations such as Siemens’ Healthineers unit and Deutsche Bank’s DWS asset management arm.

For majority-owner Thiele, aged 77, the IPO is also part of succession planning.

“It is Mr. Thiele’s desire that professional investors get a voice (on the company’s strategy) and that the company becomes independent from individual people,” Heuwing said.

($1 = 0.8558 euros)

Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Edmund Blair

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