A source close to the company told Hoist: “We are unable to comment on this at the moment but as soon as we are able to do so we will make a statement.”

The company was also unavailable to comment on an apparent online image makeover at a new website address – www.demagcranes.de – which may or may not be anything to do with the pending announcement.

Hoist believes the Germany-based hoist manufacturer and crane builder company is ready to announce a stock market flotation in the Prime Standard section of the Frankfurt stock exchange following Demag vice president, service, Thomas Wagner’s comments that this could happen “in the next few months.”

Reports in the Dow Jones International News said this could, in fact, happen before the end of this month (June). Again, the company refused to comment on the time frame.

Investment banks Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs are managing the plan, and are considering selling the company instead of floating it on the stock market, Wagner confirmed.

Demag is currently 81% owned by US venture capital firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR). The remainder is owned by German industrial group Siemens.

The company has a complex recent history. It was hived off from long-time owner Mannesmann Dematic in 2000 into a new firm called Atecs, which was taken over by Bosch and Siemens in 2001. In July 2002, the majority of the company was bought by KKR, and the minority retained by Siemens. CEO Harald Joos joined the company in December 2003.

In its November 2002-October 2003 financial year, the company reported a business volume of Euro 667m, in 2003/2004 Euro 621m and in 2004/2005 Euro 660m.