* Germany's KfW has approached investment banks - sources
* May sell at least part of its 30.5 pct stake - sources
* No bank has been formally mandated yet - sources
By Alexander Hübner and Edward Taylor
FRANKFURT, June 15 Germany's KfW [KFW.UL] has
approached investment banks about the sale of at least part of
its stake in Deutsche Post DHL (DPWGn.DE), wh ich has a market
value of 4.9 billion euros ($6.2 billion), three people familiar
with the process said.
The state-controlled development bank "is sounding out the
market," an investment banker familiar with the deal told
Reuters on Friday, wh ile another of the people said: "Asian
investors would make sense from a strategic point of view."
KfW has contacted investment banks this week about the
possible sale, the sources said, adding no bank has been
formally mandated yet.
Deutsche Post, KfW and Germany's finance ministry declined
Deutsche Post generates about 14 percent of annual sales in
Asia and its DHL business is market leader in the express
delivery market there, ahead of U.S. rivals FedEx (FDX.N) and
United Parcel Service (UPS.N).
Germany holds 30.5 percent, or 368 million shares, in
Deutsche Post, Europe's biggest express delivery and mail
company, vi a KfW.
Of that, about 54 million shares - worth about 720 million
euros - are locked up in a convertible bond that was issued by
KfW in 2009 a n d matures on July 31, 2014.
One person said the German government had not yet decided
whether to sell a stake in Deutsche Post and would only do so if
it could fetch a higher price than the value at which the stake
is held in KfW's books.
Shares in Deutsche Post have gained almost 50 percent since
reaching a low of 8.90 euros in September. But they still trade
more than a third below the 21 euros at which the stock was
issued when Deutsche Post floated in 2000.
Germany's economy ministry said late last year it would
examine the possibility of exiting its holdings in Deutsche Post
as well as former state monopoly Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE), of
which it owns about 17 percent via KfW.
Financial sources said the German government had no plans to
fully exit its holding in Deutsche Telekom at the moment.
Germany, which also owns a 25 percent stake in the country's
second-biggest bank Commerzbank (CBKG.DE), had targeted billions
of euros of proceeds from privatisations this year.
The FDP, the junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel's
centre-right coalition, in particular campaign for "private
before state", and the government as a whole is keen to
consolidate public finances amid the euro zone's sovereign debt
So far, Berlin has begun the privatisation of real estate
companies TLG Immobilien and its subsidiary TLG Wohnen.
Deutsche Post has also previously signalled that further
privatisation steps would be welcome. It has been rumoured to be
considering a secondary stock market listing in Asia, but its
finance chief Larry Rosen said last month there were no current
plans for such a move.
But any large deal could leave Deutsche Post without an
anchor investor to prevent a breakup of its mail and DHL
businesses, after Dutch rival TNT was forced to dismantle
TNT was the first European mail operator to be privatised in
1989. Last year, it was split into mail business PostNL
(PTNL.AS) and express company TNT Express TNTE.AS, which was
bought by UPS this year.
One way to avoid a carve-up would be to sell a stake to a
strong long-term investor such as a sovereign wealth fund,
limiting the number of shares freely traded on the market.
($1 = 0.7939 euros)
(Reporting by Alexander Huebner, Edward Taylor, Philipp
Halstrick and Matthias Inverardi; Additional reporting by Gernot
Heller and Sarah Marsh; Editing by David Holmes)
((Edward.Taylor@thomsonreuters.com)(+49 69 7565 1187)(Reuters
Keywords: GERMANY DEUTSCHEPOST/
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