As a result of the acquisition of Sandd, PostNL is temporarily unable to meet the required ratio between debt and gross operating income (EBITDA), which it has imposed on itself in order to be able to pay dividends.
The ruse is a sale of silverware: a sale-and-leaseback construction for five sorting centers will ensure that the debt position decreases by € 97 million and that € 150 million flows into the cash.
This paves the way for a distribution to shareholders, which is estimated by analysts to amount to more than € 100 million. Shareholders responded with delight on Tuesday morning, as they were again disappointed last year that PostNL’s dividend was suspended.
The benefits had only just resumed after seven long years in which the postal company struggled with negative equity, partly as a result of pension problems and a mountain of debt that had been left with them after the spin-off from TNT Express.
Lawsuit continues to play
In short, everyone is happy on Tuesday, although it is not yet clear how much the annual lease installments, including interest, are, and whether the cash value of these payments will ultimately really be cheaper for the company versus the current situation of the own real estate.
But who then lives who then cares, just like the long-term outlook. There is still a lawsuit over the license for the acquisition of Sandd. The judge previously ruled that this had come about on the basis of scrap work from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Although this is formally outside the gates of PostNL, the file cannot be closed yet. But corona is a lucky accident in that sense. There is still a lot of online shopping, which is why e-commerce is on the rise, although saturation is expected in a while.
For the time being, PostNL is in the right place.
The most important financial news every morning.
Invalid email address. Please fill in again.