Investor Thiele nears 10 percent Vossloh stake: report

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German entrepreneur Heinz Hermann Thiele has raised his stake in German rail technology group Vossloh (VOSG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) to nearly 10 percent and may aim for more, a German newspaper reported on Sunday.

Financial daily Handelsblatt, which cited financial sources, also said there were rumors in banking circles that Thiele, 70, may be seeking a complete takeover of mid-cap MDAX-listed (.MDAXI: Quote, Profile, Research) Vossloh.

Thiele, who is chairman and owner of Knorr-Bremse, a Munich-based manufacturer of brake systems for rail and commercial vehicles, exceeded a 5 percent voting stake in Vossloh on March 28, Vossloh said in a regulatory disclosure announcement on March 31.

Knorr-Bremse was not immediately available for comment.

In its report, released in advance of publication on Monday, Handelsblatt quoted a Knorr spokesman as saying the purchases were for Thiele’s own account.

Vossloh Chief Executive Werner Andree said on Thursday that Thiele’s objective in raising his stake was unknown.

The Vossloh family is Vossloh’s biggest shareholder, with a 31 percent stake.

Handelsblatt cited Vossloh’s chairman as saying that he was not aware of any intention by the family owners to sell their stake. It also quoted a spokesman for the family in Vossloh’s supervisory board as saying that there had been no contact so far with Thiele.

(Reporting by Jonathan Gould and Kerstin Leitel; Editing by Erica Billingham)

Investor Thiele nears 10 percent Vossloh stake: report