After DHL withdrew from the race of DB Schenker’s acquisition last week, Danish shipping company DSV appeared to be the sole remaining candidate to proceed with the purchase. However, another player claims it’s still here and ready to ‘disrupt’ the process. According to Maersk’s CEO Vincent Clerc, his company is still examining buying the German logistics operator, albeit following a “very cautious approach”.

Clerc made this statement to the Danish financial newspaper Børsen. Maersk appeared among the interested parties for DB Schenker’s acquisition early on in the process last December. Those interested parties also included DHL, which already withdrew, DSV, which appears as the frontrunner, and MSC, as well as the investment funds Carlyle Group and CVC Capital and more.

DHL and DSV quickly stood out from the competition as the parties with the most potential to proceed with the acquisition. As a result, names such as MSC and Maersk appeared to be losing ground. That is until now, with Maersk stating it is still in the game. The company did not provide more information other than its cautious approach; however, Clerc’s statement serves as a reminder that DB Schenker’s sale will not be a piece of cake.

The sale process Deutsche Bahn officially put DB Schenker up for sale in December 2023, after consulting with financial institutions throughout the past year. Their ears were open to offers between 19 December and 12 January. Dozens of parties showed their interest in taking over DB Schenker, which remains the most profitable asset of the DB Group. It now seems to be a clear frontrunner, DSV, but it is not yet quite clear how long the process will be.

DB Schenker’s value was set between 10 and 15 billion euros, meaning that the buyer will have to put out a significant financial effort. This is especially true considering that the German state, which owns the company, will be interested in cash rather than taking up shares. The sale of the logistics company was deemed necessary to cover DB outstanding debts, especially when it comes to DB Cargo.

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