Closely held Knorr-Bremse, the world’s largest maker of brakes for trucks and trains, may float a minority share on the stock market next year in what would be one of the biggest initial public offerings in Germany.
Heinz Hermann Thiele, the 76-year-old who built up a medium-sized company into a global market leader, has been looking for a way to secure the future of the company after his son Henrik opted out of the family business, leaving the company in 2015 and this year selling his stake back to his father.
“We are looking at different options for the future orientation of Knorr-Bremse AG,” Mr. Thiele told Handelsblatt in an exclusive interview. “The possibility of a stock market listing is getting priority review – we’re dealing with it very intensively.”
But the onetime law clerk with expertise in patent issues who acquired full ownership of the company with loans from Deutsche Bank quickly added that the majority would remain with the family. Mr. Thiele and his daughter, Julia Thiele-Schürhoff, currently own all the shares in Knorr-Bremse.