EC ALLOWS TAKEOVER OF STINNES/SCHENKER BY DEUTSCHE BAHN
The European Commission has authorized the proposed takeover of Stinnes AG, the German parent company of Schenker, by the German state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn AG.
Deutsche Bahn announced in July a bid to acquire the Stinnes logistics group for about 2.5 billion euro ($2.4 billion). Stinnes, including its transportation arm Schenker, is one of the largest logistics and forwarding groups in Europe.
The EC said that its market study showed that Deutsche Bahn and Stinnes are both leading players in their own markets, but that their activities present only small overlaps. These overlaps “do not give rise to any serious concerns,” the regulator said.
Deutsche Bahn holds a “leading position” in the market for rail transport in Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark, and its subsidiary DB Cargo provides freight transport by rail in Germany, the Netherlands and in a number of other European countries. But Deutsche Bahn’s position in the market for rail transport “will not be significantly altered by the acquisition since Stinnes has no significant rail business,” the EC said.
The regulator also found that Deutsche Bahn and Stinnes operate in different market segments, and that the vertical relationships between them were minimal. The EC wanted to see if vertical relationships between Deutsche Bahn and Stinnes might foreclose the market to competing logistics providers or private railways.
The commission’s one-month investigation of the logistics markets in the various European Union countries “showed a relatively low degree of concentration,” a spokesman said. The regulator found that there are a number of large providers with comprehensive European networks and complex logistics services at international level, such as ABX Bahntrans, Dachser, Deutsche Post/Danzas and Kuehne & Nagel.
Stinnes also does very little business in other markets where Deutsche Bahn has a strong position, such as bulk goods transport. And whereas Stinnes organises complex logistics chains, Deutsche Bahn does not.
The EC concluded that while the merger would widen the range of products offered by Deutsche Bahn, it would not create or strengthen a dominant position.
Stinnes has annual revenues of about 12.3 billion euro ($12 billion) and about 43,000 employees at over 1,300 locations worldwide.
Schenker provides land transport, air and sea freight services, as well as logistics services and global supply chain management from a single source. Some 30,000 employees work for this Stinnes subsidiary.
Deutsche Bahn has annual revenues of 15.7 billion euro ($15 billion) and some 214,000 staff. It lost 406 million euro (about $390 million) in 2001.