BONN/BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - After the government's stake in DHL Group (formerly Deutsche Post) was significantly reduced by a share sale, the trade union Verdi has voiced sharp criticism. "Silverware is being sold off here in order to plug self-inflicted holes in the federal budget," said Verdi Vice President Andrea Kocsis in Berlin on Wednesday. Instead, "a sustainable investment policy with secure dividend income" should be pursued in order to permanently secure the influence on the critical infrastructure.

The state-owned bank KfW had previously announced that it had sold shares for a total of around 2.2 billion euros. As a result, the state's stake in the former Bundespost fell from 20.5 to 16.5 percent. KfW, which remains the largest single shareholder in the global logistics company DHL even after the transaction, holds the shares on behalf of the federal government. A spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday that the proceeds from the sale of the shares will be used to strengthen Deutsche Bahn's equity.

In the view of trade unionist Kocsis, the transaction is a wrong decision, in which the "clearance sale mentality of the FDP" comes to the fore. It is "downright absurd" that the proceeds from the Post shares should be used to raise money for Deutsche Bahn, which is in trouble as a result of privatization.

According to KfW, it sold 50 million shares at a price of 43.45 euros. In retrospect, this was a good deal for the state-owned bank: in 2003, 2004 and 2005, it bought Post shares in three tranches - during the period of the transactions, the price was between 15.70 and 20.50 euros, the exact purchase price is not known. Now the shares have been sold for more than twice as much. In addition, there were dividend payments totaling 18 euros per share in the period from 2004 to 2023./wdw/DP/jha