LONDON (CNNfn) - The German government plans to sell a third of state postal service Deutsche Post AG to the public and list the shares on the Frankfurt stock exchange on Nov. 20.|
Deutsche Post, Europe's biggest post office, also named the price at which it will buy and additional 25.6 percent stake in air express company DHL International. The deal, first announced last month, will cost Deutsche Post $745 million, according to the company's prospectus, and takes the mail company's stake in DHL to 51 percent, transforming Deutsche Post into the world's largest air express carrier.
European countries have until Jan. 1, 2003 to open up international and domestic postal markets to competition. In the meantime, government-controlled postal services are expanding via acquisitions and alliances to head off competition from more entrepreneurial parcel distributors and transportation companies.
In recent months, TNT Post Group NV of the Netherlands, the U.K. Post Office and Singapore Post forged a joint venture to fend off competition from acquisitive Deutsche Post.
Deutsche Post hasn't yet disclosed a value for the share sale. The state will sell between 278.2 million and 319.3 million shares, according to the prospectus for the share offer, while German state development bank KfW will also sell part of its 50 percent stake.
The government has set aside 47.9 million additional shares to sell if the offer is sufficiently oversubscribed.
--from staff and wire reports