Arriva train in Denmark

EUROPE: Deutsche Bahn has reached agreement to sell its Arriva local transport activities in Denmark, Poland and Serbia to München-based private equity holding company Mutares SE & Co KGaA.

The transaction is expected to close towards the end of 2022, subject to approval by the DB AG supervisory board, the Federal Ministry of Digital & Transport and the relevant competition authorities.

All three businesses units operate urban, regional and commercial bus services, but Arriva Denmark also runs a number of regional rail contracts and ferry services. It also offers car sharing services in København under the Share Now franchise, and operates a vocational training centre. According to Mutares, the three businesses employ around 3 400 people in total and generate revenues of approximately €400m a year.

Mutares says it plans to leverage its ‘strong expertise in tendering for public contracts’ and to increase operational efficiency by deploying ‘its own team of functional experts’, to strengthen Arriva’s leading position in the three markets.

‘With this acquisition we underline our experience in the logistics and transport sector’, said Mutares CIO Johannes Laumann. ‘We are very excited to welcome the Arriva businesses into our firm, strengthening our Goods & Services portfolio. The business model of Arriva is very promising, as we see the demand for urban mobility concepts increasing, driven by the continuing trend for urbanisation and more sustainable modes of transport.’

However, the group has reportedly not ruled out the prospect of a future resale in line with its traditional business strategy.