Deutsche Bahn has launched the sale process for its logistics subsidiary DB Schenker.

The DB Group issued an official announcement, laying out an open and non-discriminatory process for the sale of the shares. The condition for a sale is that it must have apparent economic advantages for Deutsche Bahn in all respects, the announcement added.

"The international logistics market offers excellent prospects for long-term growth. As one of the world's top four logistics companies, DB Schenker has a solid position within the market. DB Schenker has contributed very positively to the DB Group's economic growth over the years. However, the DB subsidiary will need more capital and flexibility for its own growth."

Banking sources have said DB Schenker could be worth as much as €20 billion ($22 billion), Reuters reported.

The DB Group will retain all proceeds from a sale, a large part of which will be used to reduce debt, the statement added. "A sale would significantly accelerate Deutsche Bahn's focus on its core business and the implementation of the strong rail strategy. Deutsche Bahn has already completed or contractually agreed the sale of several of its business units in foreign markets and would be taking another big step by letting go of DB Schenker. Our goal is to serve the climate, people and the economy by substantially increasing the cargo and passenger volumes handled by eco-friendly rail services."

The Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bahn assigned DB's Management Board the task of examining the case and preparing for a potential sale of its entire shares in DB Schenker in December 2022. "The final decision on a sale of DB Schenker will be based on a separate resolution adopted by the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bahn AG at the end of the sale process. The process is also subject to general capital market developments."

DB Schenker reported a 29 percent decline in revenue at €11 billion for the first half of 2023 compared to 2022, and earnings dropped 47 percent to €626 million on lower transported volumes. DB Schenker has 76,600 employees at over 1,850 locations across 130 countries.

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