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The New DAX Decade: The Past, Present and Future of the DAX 30

The New DAX Decade: The Past, Present and Future of the DAX 30

The New DAX Decade: The Past, Present and Future of the DAX 30

The DAX Index, which tracks the top 30 companies in Germany, is one of the most important and respected indicators of the world’s economic health. 

Germany, as the largest economy in Europe and the world’s fourth-largest economy, is a crucial player in the global economic engine. As such, it should come as no surprise that the DAX 30 Index has historically included many of the world’s largest and most well-known companies. Volkswagen, BMW, Siemens, Adidas, and Bayer are just a few of the household names that have made a home for themselves on the German DAX over the decades.


As the DAX is a stock exchange index of top companies that tracks factors such as capital gains and dividends when calculating stock prices, it can give a very clear picture of the health of Germany’s, Europe’s, and the world’s economies. DAX 30 companies typically have a presence in every corner of the globe, employ tens of thousands of people apiece, and are often vital cogs in global trade networks and supply chains.

As such, DAX stock prices and market caps are strongly influenced by global events, as has been seen throughout its 32-year history. Owing to the high levels of liquidity, long trading hours, and tight trading spreads, trading on DAX 30 companies is a popular and widespread activity for individual traders and large firms around the world.

How is DAX faring under the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the coronavirus?

Before we dive into our comprehensive introduction to DAX, it’s important that we address the giant economic elephant in the room: the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. The DAX has been far from immune to the coronavirus stock market plunge that has wiped trillions of dollars off the market caps of indices and companies in every corner of the globe.

The stock market coronavirus upset has been the result of many factors, including disruption to supply chains, widespread layoffs, mass redundancies, and huge levels of uncertainty. While indices around the globe will likely rally in the near-future, coronavirus has guaranteed that unpredictability is the current order of the day.

In the middle of March 2020, when countries began hiking up their responses to the spread of the virus, the DAX suffered one of the worst trading weeks in its entire history, losing close to 10% of its value in one week and closing at a major recent low of 7990 on 19 March. This represents the quickest and most dramatic drop in the history of the DAX Index.

Of course, not all companies have proven to be equally affected by the coronavirus stocks scare. Some have proven more resilient, largely due to the industry they belong to and how vulnerable that industry is to coronavirus-related disruption. The most obvious casualties were the travel and tourism industries. Lufthansa, Germany’s largest airline and a member of the DAX 30 since its inception, lost 41% of its value in the second half of March 2020, making it by far the most heavily impacted company on the index.

However, other companies, representing very different industries, have also suffered from the coronavirus financial crisis. Deutsche Bank AG, in keeping with other major financial institutions around the world, saw its share price plummet throughout March, reaching an all-time-low of €4.87 per share on March 12. The financial industry has suffered from the chaos for a large number of reasons, with one of the main ones being that investors are pulling out of private banks and fleeing toward safer options such as government-backed treasury bonds.

However, pharmaceutical giants on the DAX 30, such as Bayer and Merck, have been relatively unaffected by the coronavirus crash. Despite some modest declines in the middle of March 2020, both companies quickly rebounded, and look set to ride out the turmoil in good shape. This is, in large part, due to the fact that the vital medical products these companies provide, such as vaccines, antibiotics, antiviral drugs, and biotechnologies, are all massively in demand during a global pandemic of this scale.

As the crisis unfolds, it is possible that certain DAX 30 companies that are better placed to adapt to the new normal will thrive, will others will fall. If we take the global pivot to remote working as just one example, it becomes clear which companies are better placed to weather the storm.

Companies that are heavily focused on the provision of digital services, such as Wirecard, SAP, and Deutsche Telecom, will be able to continue running large parts of their current operations. However, companies that focus heavily on physical manufacturing and exporting, such as BMW, Beiersdorf, and Infineon, will likely suffer as a result of social distancing measures.

Of course, it is impossible to say definitively how the DAX will perform as the crisis unfolds over the coming months. The German government’s aggressive stimulus attempts may lift the index up or compounding crises may drag it down. Only time will tell.

How have cultural and social issues affected the stock of DAX companies over the last 20 years?

Since the DAX 30 Index was first founded in Frankfurt in July 1988, its performance and progression have seen a lot of ups and downs, in much the same way as similar major indices like the Dow Jones Industrial Average. There have been several peaks and busts in the global economy in the 32 years since the DAX came into existence, including the early 90s recession, the Japanese Asset Price Bubble, Black Wednesday, The Asian Financial Crisis, the Dot Com Bubble, and the crash of 2008. As all of these events are global economic developments, it should come as no surprise that the DAX, which represents the largest companies of one of the world’s most globalized economies, has always been deeply impacted.

Let’s take a closer look at the ups and downs of the DAX exchange throughout its history.

1982-1990: Tumultuous Beginnings

The DAX index was first launched on 1 July 1988 in Frankfurt, the economic and financial epicenter of Germany. The goal was to provide a representative snapshot of the German economy that the whole world could rely on (although many people did and still do believe that the top 30 German companies do not in themselves represent the health of the broader economy).

However, not all of Germany was included in this measure. Owing to the existence of the Iron Curtain, Germany was divided into two countries, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Soviet-controlled German Democratic Republic, with the DAX representing the former. For the first few years of its existence, the West Germany DAX grew steadily, rising in market cap by 60% by 1988.

However, the following year was to cause the first major upset for the index. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and subsequent collapse of communism in November 1989, the process of merging the poorer East German states with the wealthier West German states had commenced.

The process caused considerable economic and political turmoil with the newly reunified Germany. This was reflected in the DAX, which saw its value decline by 16% in the first seven weeks of 1990. However, once the dust had settled, the recovery was fairly swift.

2000: Dot Com Bubble

20 years after the fact, the Dot Com Bubble still looms large in the minds of analysts as an example of the dangers of hype when it comes to trading. The late 1990s saw an explosion in the use of the internet in households around the world and the birth of Silicon Valley as the center of the global tech and knowledge economy.

Internet companies founded during this period were carried high by a wave of euphoria over what people thought the internet would bring, with some companies seeing their shares double in value in a single day, despite no news being announced about the company whatsoever. While much of the dot com bubble was centered on Silicon Valley, the DAX was by no means immune.

The jaw-dropping bull market convinced millions of Germans to invest in the DAX in the belief that the party would never end. At the height of the bubble in 2000, 12 million Germans owned DAX-listed stocks, an all-time-high that has never been seen since. Deutsche Telecom, one of the largest companies on the DAX, was forced to raffle off shares throughout 2000 because demand was so high.

Tech companies on Germany’s dedicated tech stock index, the TecDax, saw similar valuation rises to those being observed in Silicon Valley at the time. For many, it seemed like the bubble would keep on growing.

2003: Dot Com Bust

Of course, such a meteoric rise was never going to be sustainable for long. With investors around the world waking up to the fact that many of the internet companies that had been given 10- or 11-figure valuations weren’t actually creating any wealth or value at all, a plummet crept up slowly before crashing down. Investors began moving huge amounts of liquid capital out of high-performing tech stocks and into low performing traditional stocks at the end of the year 2000.

This exodus was compounded by a number of events, including the Enron scandal, the WorldCom Scandal, and the September 11 Attacks. By the end of 2002, global tech stocks from the Dot Com Bubble had lost $5 trillion in market capitalization, leaving a trail of bankruptcies in their wake.

DAX historical data shows that the Dot Com Bubble burst hit it especially hard. After reaching its then-highest level ever of 8,136.16, it closed at a low of 2,202.96 points on 12 March 2003, when the worst after-effects of the bubble were being felt. Stocks on Neuer Market, then Germany’s leading tech stock exchange, lost 98% of their value between 2000-2003, while former DAX companies such as Epcos and MLP were de-listed due to their market cap falling to new lows.

2003-2008: Recovery and Boom

The years following the collapse of the Dot Com Bubble were largely a period of uninterrupted success for the DAX. Driven largely by a global market rally that saw demand for high-quality German exports, particularly those produced by top DAX companies such as Volkswagen and Siemens, soar to previously unseen heights.

By July 2007, the DAX had climbed to a new all-time peak of 8,151.57 points and continued to rise. Shortly after the DAX celebrated its 20th birthday on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in July 2008, the index recorded its highest ever daily gain, growing by an astonishing 11.4% in just a few hours.

The height and hubris of the pre-recession boom are perhaps best epitomized by Volkswagen, which for a brief time became the world’s most valuable company in 2008 when stock prices rose to more than €1000 ($1078) per share.

Some of the best-placed companies during the boom were financial industry giants such as Deutsche Bank and Allianz, which saw their caps skyrocket in the same way that US giants such as Lehman Brothers did.

2008: Recession and Bust

As we all know, the height of the boom was a short-lived one indeed. Sparked by the subprime mortgage crisis in the US, the Great Recession of 2008 was, by most measures, the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Some of the biggest names in banking went under, and millions of people lost jobs and life savings.

Germany, despite extensive government bailouts to save the biggest German banks, which were estimated to have cost around €500 billion, was particularly hard hit. Between 2007 and 2008, the DAX lost more than half of its value, plummeting 55.9% and bottoming out at 3,585.1 points.

Several companies that once occupied prominent positions on the DAX either exited the index for good or went bust as a result of the crisis. Hypo Real Estate, Deutsche Postbank, and TUI all bowed out after suffering crushing declines in stock prices, largely due to their respective industries – mortgages, banking, and travel – all being decimated by the recession.

DAX performance last 20 years


2011: Black Monday

While some countries saw their stock markets bounce back dramatically once the worst of the crisis had passed, the case was not quite the same for Germany and the DAX. Recovery was one of the most sluggish in the Eurozone, although admittedly nowhere near as bad as the recoveries seen in Italy or Spain. However, slowly but surely the DAX began to rise again, hitting 7372.24 points in June 2011.

However, the DAX was in for another brutal fall in the August of that year, when fears over a poor post-recession recovery began to bite. By July 2011, the DAX began shedding points as investor concerns started to rise amid the mounting Eurozone Debt Crisis, with many fearing that the astonishing levels of toxic debt accrued by banks in Italy and France would bring down the Eurozone altogether.

However, the catalyst for what followed came from across the Atlantic Ocean. On 6 August 2011, the global credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s downgraded the United States’ credit rating from AAA to AA+, warning that a poor post-2008 recovery had threatened confidence that the world’s largest economy could pay its debts.

This rating downgrade turned out to be the trigger for a massive selloff as investors began to fear another global recession. The following Monday, known as ‘Black Monday’, stocks around the world began to nosedive. The DAX lost 5.8% in a single day and continued to decline until 5 September 2011, when it closed at a low of 5246.20 points.

2013-2018: (Almost) Uninterrupted Growth and a Record Bull Market

Black Monday never did trigger the global recession that investors feared, and things began to return to growth not long after. While growth across the Eurozone continued to be shaky, Germany spent much of the following six years leading the pack, with the DAX going from 5246.20 points in 2011 to a then-record high of 13,559.60 on January 23, 2018.

Thanks to a booming German economy and the ability of once-troubled DAX companies like Volkswagen and Deutsche Bank to regain their reputations as some of the most trusted and quality brands in the world, the DAX saw some of the most sustained bull markets in its entire history.

While the record growth recorded in this period is in keeping with what we have seen in other markets, with the FTSE 250 and S&P 500 both seeing record bull runs and reaching new heights in terms of market capitalization, the DAX did suffer from a few small hiccups during this time.

This first of these was in early 2013, when interest rate cuts from the ECB to an all-time-low of 0.25%, prompted by sluggish Eurozone growth, prompted investors to flee the DAX. However, this was short-lived, and the ECB rose rates again in May that year, prompting a rise that remained virtually uninterrupted until June 2015.

It was during this time that the Greek Debt Crisis, during which Germany held the largest amount of Greek debt, prompted a mass sell-off when fears arose over Germany’s ability to recover its losses. However, Germany was able to lead the European Commission to strike a repayment deal with Greece, and fears quickly subsided, allowing the DAX to continue to once again discover record heights.

2018: Trade Wars and Uncertainty Bite

Despite heading into 2018 looking stronger than ever, underlying problems were mounting. While the Eurozone had seen some of its strongest growth of the decade during the first few months of 2018, things began to take a turn for the worst in the middle of the year. Rising debts, fears of an Italian banking crisis, traumatic restructuring plans for German financial giants such as Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, and mounting uncertainty over Brexit negotiations all began to take a toll on the DAX companies.

However, the major blow again came from outside of Europe. The Trump Administration’s mounting trade war with China came to a head in the summer of 2018, when both countries placed successive tariffs on each other’s exports in June, July, August, and September. By the end of September, both countries had placed hundreds of billions of dollars worth of tariffs on each other’s exports, with rates on some goods reaching 25%.

During the same time, the US had also threatened to slap tariffs on German automobiles and car parts, in a direct threat to some of the biggest names on the DAX like Volkswagen and Daimler, the company behind Mercedes.

While those specific threats did not materialize in 2018, the conflict between the US and China was enough to ensure that 2018 became the worst year for the DAX since the Great Recession. Between January and December of 2018, the DAX lost 18% of its value, representing around $300 billion. The worst performers were Deutsche Bank, which lost 56% of its market capitalization, Covestro, which lost 49.8%, Continental, which also lost 49.8%, Bayer (-40.9%), Deutsche Post (-39.8%), Daimler (35.2%), and Volkswagen (16.5%).

While the poor performance of Deutsche Bank was set in motion before the trade war reached its peak, the other casualties are a direct result of it. Carmakers such as Daimler and Volkswagen relied heavily on exports to China and the United States, and the weak demand for imports triggered by the trade war meant that they were the first to suffer. Meanwhile, pharma giants like Bayer and Merck saw their supply chains in China majorly disrupted by the turmoil, which further contributed to their devaluations.

Most significantly, the turmoil of 2018 fired a warning shot to the global economy, reminding investors and traders just how closely interconnected the world really is.

2020: COVID Chaos

Just a couple of weeks before the COVID-19 virus caused mass selloffs in stock markets across the world, things had literally never looked better for the DAX. Despite generally weakening economic data coming out of the country, the DAX hit a high of 13,795.24 points on February 17, 2020, back when there was a general consensus that the coronavirus was an isolated, easily contained phenomenon.

However, as we have seen, such attitudes did not last long. As Europe became one of the regions hardest hit by the virus and began implementing sweeping lockdowns and workplace closures, the DAX went into freefall and lost an unprecedented 6000 points in the space of just four weeks, while major players on the DAX such as BMW and Lufthansa have responded to the crisis with heavy layoffs.

Since a low point in late March, the DAX chart has rebounded a little. However, it is clear that the turmoil caused by the virus is a long way from over, making it impossible to say how the index will perform in the coming months. One thing is certain is that now is a very interesting time to be following DAX 30 realtime data.


What effect have conglomerates and business acquisitions had on the DAX?

DAX company exits

Over the course of its existence, the DAX historical data has proven itself to be mercurial, with its size, industry composition, and membership changing frequently. Many companies have dropped out of the DAX after decades of membership, often because their market capitalization has fallen to a point where they were no longer ranked among the top 30 German companies. Some companies have dropped out of the DAX because they were in deep financial trouble.

Many longtime DAX 30 members left the index because they merged with or were acquired by a rival company. Understanding the processes and forces that shape the DAX index today is vital for any would-be DAX trader. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the long and sometimes complicated history of DAX mergers, acquisitions, takeovers, and dropouts.

Biggest DAX Mergers & Takeovers

When it comes to companies that are at the vertex of one of the most valuable stock indices in the world, sometimes the only way to continue growing is to merge with similarly sized competitors or to allow themselves to be swallowed up entirely. The German DAX index has a long and storied history of mergers and takeovers that have seen some of the biggest companies on the index pool together to become truly global giants.

As mergers and takeovers become an increasingly common feature of the business landscape across the globe, an understanding of the processes and considerations that have fueled the biggest DAX mergers and takeovers in history is vital for anyone looking to become a DAX trader, or indeed anyone already operating in that market index. Without further ado, here is a list of the most significant mergers and takeovers to have ever taken place on the DAX 30 Index.

  • September 1990: Nixdorf AG merges with the Computer and Data Information Services (DIS) division of Siemens. Just as Siemens was beginning to ramp up its IT capabilities, they made a splash in financial headlines around the world by acquiring Nixdorf, then Europe’s largest IT company and itself a prominent DAX index member. Siemens merged Nixdorf with the DIS department of its own company, retaining most of the resources and staff.
  • December 1998: Daimler merges with Chrysler. Daimler’s merger with US auto icon Chrysler was, at $35 billion, the largest industrial merger in history at the time. Touted as a ‘marriage of equals’ at the time, the merger was designed to help Daimler corner the US market whilst offering both companies protection from Japanese competitors. However, DaimlerChrysler was not a match made in heaven, and the Chrysler division was sold off to the private equity group Cerberus nine years later for just $7.4 billion.
  • March 1999: Thyssen and Krupp merge to form ThyssenKrupp. Both Thyssen and Krupp were titans of the steel industry, with roots in Germany stretching back centuries. Despite this, both were struggling to fend off competition from US and Asian producers, leading to their multi-billion-dollar merger in 1999, after more than a decade of negotiations.
  • July 2001: Allianz completes takeover of Dresdner Bank. DAX lifer Allianz announced its $20 billion takeover of Dresdner Bank in 2001 as one of the most important deals of the decade. Allianz had hoped that merging with a veteran of the German banking industry would allow it to branch out into banking. However, this was another short-lived dream, with Allianz selling Dresdner Bank to Commerzbank for $14 billion in 2008, after announcing it would be returning to its ‘core’ business of insurance.
  • September 2006: Bayer completes takeover of Schering. Bayer’s takeover of the Berlin-based pharma company best known for inventing aspirin, Schering, was the result of bitter wrangling with its fellow DAX-listed competitor Merck. Both companies were engaged in an aggressive and lengthy competitive bidding process to secure the merger with Schering, with Merck eventually acquiescing after Bayer offered to buy Merck’s shares at a greatly inflated price. All told, the takeover is estimated to have cost Bayer around $20 billion.

DAX Dropouts

The DAX 30 is undeniably an exclusive club, one that only the largest, richest, and most dynamic German companies are able to join. Due to the very high standards for membership, it is unsurprising that there are plenty of companies that have fallen out of the DAX over the decades. The most common reason that DAX listed companies leave the index is that their market capitalization falls to a point where they can no longer be considered one of the top 30 most valuable companies in Germany. Sometimes their market cap does not fall at all, but they are instead overtaken by another, faster-growing company. With that in mind, here are some of the biggest DAX dropouts from the past couple of decades.

  • Epcos: The German electronics manufacturer Epcos enjoyed a fleeting moment on the DAX index, entering it for the first time in February 2000, before being kicked off again in December 2002 due to investor jitters sending its market cap down several percentage points.
  • Deutsche Postbank: Not long after being sold to Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Postbank was forced to pursue a fast exit from the DAX in March 2009 due to its inadequate levels of market capitalization. Postbank’s market cap didn’t actually fall in this case, but changes to DAX rules pertaining to how market cap is calculated meant that Postbank no longer met the requirements.
  • Hannover Re: Hannover Re, one of the largest reinsurance groups on the planet, had one of the shortest stints on the DAX in its history. After replacing Deutsche Postbank in March 2009 and entering the DAX for the first time, it found itself out in the cold again six months later, to be replaced by Infineon Technologies.
  • Salzgitter: One of Europe’s largest steel producers, Salzgitter entered the DAX for the first time in 2008, only to find itself out of the DAX in June 2010 and replaced by a prominent competitor, HeidelbergCement.
  • Lanxess: The world’s largest producer of synthetic rubber, Lanxess found itself barreling out of the DAX in September 2015, after building overcapacity in the rubber market saw consumer demand for its products nosedive. The company now sits on the M-DAX index of medium-sized companies.
  • K+S: After becoming the first commodity stock on the DAX 30 in history in 2008, falling market capitalization resulted in this 121-year old fertilizer company making an exit in September 2015.
  • Commerzbank: As Germany’s second-largest lender, pundits expressed surprise when Commerzbank was booted out of the DAX in September 2018, following a chaotic restructuring process and an aborted attempt at a merger with Deutsche Bank.
  • ThyssenKrupp: After a dramatic drop in share prices of 42% in a single year, struggling industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp bowed out of the DAX for the first time in its history in September 2019, marking one of the most significant DAX changes in history.

DAX Shopaholics

Many of the largest acquisitions in the history of the DAX are the work of just a handful of companies. While acquisitions, in which a typically larger company takes majority ownership of a smaller one and adds it to its portfolio, have been a common feature of the business landscape for decades.

DAX acquisitions


While evidence suggests that the rate of acquisitions has increased dramatically in the decade following the 2008 crash, some of the DAX’s largest and most longstanding companies have been pulling off multi-billion-dollar acquisitions since long before then. Here are the biggest shopaholics on the DAX today.

Siemens: Electronics and telecommunications giant Siemens leads the pack by a considerable stretch, with a total of 65 acquisitions under its belt. Although it has since divested itself of 21 major assets, Siemens remains the biggest shopaholic on the DAX 30 Index, and one of the most popular options for people trading DAX 30 index shares. As a global engineering and electronic conglomerate, Siemens serves a huge variety of customers, which helps to explain the considerable diversity of its investment portfolio spanning numerous industries. While Siemens's acquisitions are too lengthy to list here, we’ve provided a roundup of the biggest ones in the company’s 173-year history.

  • 1991: Nixdorf Computer AG. Prior to the acquisition, the computer manufacturer was the largest IT company in Europe. Once Siemens acquired it in a hostile takeover for an undisclosed sum, it became Europe’s largest computer company.
  • 1998: Westinghouse Power Generation. The US energy company Westinghouse was acquired by Siemens for $1.5 billion, significantly boosting its presence in the realm of energy technology.
  • 2007: Dade Behring. This American clinical diagnostics company was snapped up by Siemens for a cool $7 billion in 2007, marking Siemens's biggest step yet into the world of medical technology.
  • 2007: UGS Corp. Citing a need to beef up its industrial software portfolio, Siemens shelled out $3.5 billion to buy this Texas-based developer of manufacturing simulation technologies.
  • 2012: Invensys Rail. The rail division of Invensys, a British engineering conglomerate, was purchased by Siemens for £1.7 billion in 2012 as part of a wider shift towards strengthening its core business activities, namely the development of infrastructure technologies.
  • 2015: Dresser-Rand Group. The heavily indebted energy firm Dresser-Rand was bought by Siemens for $7.6 billion in cash in 2015, resulting in Siemens announcing that it would make Houston, where Dresser-Rand is based, the center of their oil and gas operations.
  • 2016: Mentor Graphics. Siemens continued to bolster its industrial software portfolio by snapping up Mentor Graphics for $4.5 billion in 2016.

Volkswagen Group: While automobile conglomerate Volkswagen has a more modest number of acquisitions, the companies it has absorbed are some of the most prestigious and well-known brands in Europe. What is notable about Volkswagen’s acquisition strategy is just how focused it is. All of the company’s acquisitions consist of commercially successful, well-known European car brands with a strong reputation. In the early years of acquisitions, Volkswagen focused on affordable family car brands.

However, at the turn of the 21st Century, they changed tack and focused on aggressive buyouts of prestige luxury auto manufacturers. Here is Volkswagen Group’s acquisition history, in a nutshell.

  • 1965: Auto Union. Before Audi was Audi, it was Auto Union, East Germany’s largest car manufacturer. Volkswagen, a West German company, began acquiring the assets of Auto Union in the early 1960s, gaining majority control in 1965.
  • 1986: SEAT. The popular Spanish auto manufacturer was acquired by Volkswagen when the group obtained a 51% ownership stake in 1986. By 1990, Volkswagen acquired 99.99% ownership, making SEAT the first non-German company to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen.
  • 1994: Skoda. Czech auto manufacturer Skoda was first partially bought up by Volkswagen in 1991, when the Czech government allowed them to buy a 30.1% share. While this original purchase was designed to ease Skoda’s troubles following the collapse of communism and state-backed support, Volkswagen continued to show a strong interest in Skoda, acquiring majority ownership in 1994.
  • 1998: Bentley, Lamborghini, and Bugatti. As part of a concerted push to capture the luxury market, Volkswagen went all out in 1998, spending billions of dollars to acquire Bentley, Lamborghini, and Bugatti, some of the most prestigious automobile brands in the world.
  • 2008: Scania. In a move that was unexpected by many financial analysts and pundits, Volkswagen moved rapidly to acquire a 36.4% share of the Swedish truck manufacturer Scania in 2007, before upping their share to 70.94% the following year. The acquisition marked Volkswagen’s first foray into the industrial vehicle sector.
  • 2012: Ducati and Porsche. Porsche and Volkswagen have been tight-knit for over a century, but it wasn’t until 2012 that Volkswagen finally achieved its dream of acquiring majority ownership. That same year, they also acquired outright ownership of the Italian high-end motorcycle manufacturer Ducati.

Deutsche Post: Until just a couple of decades ago, Deutsche Post, which operates under the trade name Deutsche Post DHL Group, was a strictly domestic operator. With its origins as the state-backed postal service Deutsche Bundespost, founded in 1947, the company had a minimal presence outside of Germany until it embarked upon its first wave of global acquisitions at the turn of the 21st Century. Here is the full list of Deutsche Post’s acquisitions to date:

  • 1999: Van Gend & Loos. Deutsche Post kicked off its international push with the acquisition of Van Gend & Loos, the oldest and largest distribution company in The Netherlands, in 1999.
  • 2000: Danzas. Hot on the heels of their Dutch acquisition, Deutsche Post moved quickly to snap up the Swiss-based global distribution company Danzas in 2000. The company has since been transformed into the DHL Global Forwarding Division.
  • 2002: DHL International and Airborne Express. Deutsche Post cemented its position as a global courier and delivery service by acquiring majority ownership of Seattle-based Airborne Express. The company then promptly merged Airborne, Danzas, and Van Gend & Loos into DHL International.
  • 2005: Exel. In 2005 Deutsche Post beefed up its logistics capability by acquiring the UK corporate logistics giant Exel for $6.73 billion.
  • 2010: Nugg.ad. In a move intended to bolster Deutsche Post’s move into the e-commerce market, they acquired the digital ad targeting platform Nugg.ad for an undisclosed sum in 2010.
  • 2011: AdCloud. In a similar vein the online search engine ad agency AdCloud was acquired the following year.
  • 2012: All You Need GmbH. For an undisclosed sum, Deutsche Post snapped up the Berlin-based grocery delivery platform All You Need. However, the acquisition was short-lived, with DP selling it on a few years later.
  • 2014: StreetScooter GmbH. In a somewhat unorthodox move, Deutsche Post acquired majority ownership of the electric scooter company StreetScooter, as part of a move to reduce their carbon footprint.
  • 2016: UK Mail. Deutsche Post cemented its grip on Europe’s largest e-commerce market, the UK, in 2016 when it acquired the independent postal giant UK Mail for $315.5 million.

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