German rail privatisation approved

Germany's lower house of parliament has approved government plans to sell 24.9 percent of rail operator Deutsche Bahn in what is expected to be Germany's biggest flotation since 2000.

The Bundestag on Friday voted overwhelmingly in favour of the plan, removing one of the last hurdles to the long-delayed sale of the transport and logistics group.

The government has said it expects the sale, which is planned for November, to raise between 5 and 8 billion euros, roughly in line with the November 2000 public offering of Deutsche Post, which raised 5.8 billion euros.

Earlier this week, Deutsche Bahn said it had picked Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Goldman Sachs to advise it on the listing and more banks are expected to join the consortium in the coming weeks.

Under the plan approved by the Bundestag, the government will sell 24.9 percent of the company's transport, logistics and services business to private investors. Its rail tracks, stations and energy supply unit will remain in state hands.

Image: Deutsche Bahn train [Bombardier]

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