June 3, 2013 / 1:50 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Forklift truck maker Kion seeks listing in Frankfurt

* Kion says KKR, Goldman to remain invested

* Says Weichai to raise stake to 30 pct from 25 pct

* Enterprise value at more than 5 bln euros - sources

* Kion to sell new shares for 500 mln euros in IPO - sources

FRANKFURT, June 3 (Reuters) - Kion Group, the world’s second-biggest forklift truck maker, is preparing a stock market flotation in Frankfurt, joining a growing list of German companies taking advantage of more buoyant market conditions.

The Wiesbaden, Germany-based group follows real estate firm LEG, chemicals maker Evonik and broadcaster RTL, which have all successfully listed in Frankfurt this year on the back of a rally in European stock markets .

Kion, a former unit of industrial gases group Linde AG which trails Toyota Industries Corp by global sales, said on Monday it was seeking a listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, without saying how much of the company would be sold, the price of the shares or when it aimed to list.

Its main shareholders, buyout firm KKR and the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs, will remain invested in the company, it said. It gave no reason for the flotation, which two people familiar with the matter had said in March was being planned.

Shareholder Weichai Power, a unit of China’s Shandong Heavy Industry Group, will increase its stake to 30 percent from 25 percent ahead of the initial public offering (IPO).

Kion, whose brands include Linde and STILL, is market leader in western Europe with a 36 percent share and has invested heavily to expand in China and India. It said it had grown to become China’s leading non-domestic supplier, the No.2 player in India and market leader in eastern Europe.


Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters Kion’s enterprise value was more than 5 billion euros ($6.5 billion). One of them said its value excluding debt and pension obligations was closer to 3.5 billion euros.

The two people said the transaction would flush about 1 billion euros of capital into Kion’s coffers, of which 400 million euros would come from Weichai’s stake hike, 500 million from a capital increase and about 100 million from a debt-for-equity swap by KKR and Goldman Sachs.

KKR and Goldman Sachs bought Kion from Linde in 2006. Weichai Power bought a quarter of it for more than 730 million euros last year, in what was the largest-ever investment in Germany by a Chinese company.

Kion last week said its first-quarter revenue slipped by 4.2 percent to 1.09 billion euros, partly due to the recent sale of its Hydraulics business. Core operating profit (EBITDA) margin was 0.2 percentage points wider than a year earlier, at 15.5 percent, and its net debt stood at 1.82 billion euros.

The company plans to join the “Prime Standard” segment of the Frankfurt exchange, whose tougher disclosure rules than the all-share market are designed to appeal to international investors.

Goldman Sachs and KKR are acting as joint global coordinators for the IPO, together with Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley, joint bookrunners. Co-lead managers are BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, Societe Generale and UniCredit.

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