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Kion Owners Goldman, KKR Said to Line Up Banks for IPO This Year

April 29, 2013

KKR & Co. (KKR:US) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS:US) have lined up banks to handle the planned initial public offering of Kion Group GmbH, the world’s second-largest maker of forklifts, said people with knowledge of the matter.

Morgan Stanley (MS:US) was added to the list of financial institutions that already includes owners Goldman Sachs and KKR’s equity capital markets arm as well as Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. The IPO will probably happen before July if markets remain stable and Wiesbaden, Germany-based Kion may sell as much as 25 percent of its stock, they said.

The forklift maker posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and some items of 747 million euros ($977 million) last year. The owners are seeking a valuation of about 10 times estimated 2013 Ebitda, according to the people. That would lead to a valuation of at least 7.5 billion euros as Kion predicts earnings will rise this year.

Kion was part of German industrial-gas maker Linde AG (LIN) before a 4-billion euro buyout in 2006. Sales increased 8.2 percent to 4.7 billion euros last year even as global demand for industrial trucks dropped by 3.1 percent, as the company benefited from orders in China, where Kion is the largest overseas forklift-maker.

Representatives for Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, KKR and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

Chinese Investment

Companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa raised $6.8 billion in IPOs this year, about double the figure for the same period in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The year’s biggest deal was from Germany, where apartment landlord LEG Immobilien AG (LEG) raised 1.3 billion euros in January.

KKR and Goldman sold 25 percent of Kion to Weichai Power Co., China’s biggest maker of heavy-duty trucks, in August to help trim debt. Kion also sold 70 percent of its hydraulics unit to the Chinese firm. The moves brought Kion 738 million euros in investment from Weichai.

Kion trails Toyota Industries Corp. (6201), an affiliate of Toyota Motor Corp., in the global forklift market.

To contact the reporters on this story: Aaron Kirchfeld in London at; Ruth David in London at; Alex Webb in Munich at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jacqueline Simmons at; Simon Thiel at

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