German forklift truck maker Kion to go public | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 03.06.2013
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German forklift truck maker Kion to go public

Europe's biggest forklift maker, Germany's Kion Group, has announced it is preparing an initial public offering (IPO) to take place within the next few weeks. The sale would be one of Germany's biggest in recent years.

Kion Group was preparing to list its shares with the Frankfurt Stock Exchange within the next few weeks, the world's second-biggest forklift truck manufacturer after Toyota Industries announced June 3.

The initial public offering (IPO) would provide an opportunity for investors to participate in Kion's global expansion, Kion Chief Executive Gordon Riske said in a statement.

Kion's main shareholders, Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts (KKR) Investment Funds and Goldman Sachs would remain invested, the company, which is based in Wiesbaden, Germany, said.

In addition, strategic anchor investor, China's Weichai Power, would increase its stake in Kion to 30 percent ahead of the listing.

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Kion was part of German industrial-gas maker Linde before a 4-billion euro ($5.2 billion) buyout in 2006. In 2012, Kion sales increased 8.2 percent year-on-year to 4.7 billion euros in spite of dropping demand for industrial trucks by 3.1 percent. The forklift maker benefited from robust demand from China where Kion has reached market share of 15 percent.

Kion has not yet disclosed the volume of its shares sale, but is expected to offer up to 25 percent in the IPO. The sale, which is biggest in Germany this year, would value the whole company at around 2.5 billion euros.

Kion would use the money from the IPO to expand especially in Asian markets, Riske said.

uhe/mz (dpa, Reuters)

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