German Rhenus quashes Red Parcel stake talk

GERMAN logistics company Rhenus has denied reports that it might be close to acquiring a 25% stake in domestic parcel service newcomer Red Parcel Post, writes B’lent Erdogan in Cologne.

The new company is searching for investors in order to take up operations by 2007. Former Deutsche Post board member Dieter Seegers-Kr’ckeberg is said to be behind Red Parcel Post.

Rumours of a 25% stake were pure invention and Rhenus would not ‘comment further on such rumours’, a spokesman said.

The reports come at a time when Rhenus chief executive Hermann Niehues has signalled his willingness to buy into new companies.

In recent months Rhenus has shown considerable hunger for acquisitions. It bought the air freight business of the Thiel group as well as Austrian forwarder Röhrer and Polish Fastrack.

At present, it is exclusively negotiating with KarstadtQuelle with the aim of taking over the German department store’s parcel logistics. It also vied for the rail business of German coal producer RAG but lost it to railway operator Deutsche Bahn.

Rhenus is part of the Rethmann group. Last year, turnover of the logistics company was around € 1bn ($1.3bn).

The company operates 80 sites and employs 5,800 staff in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Russia.

Rhenus generates about 50% of its business from contract logistics and another 20% each from port logistics and hinterland transport.

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