Perth-based group is reported to be interested in buying bus business from its DB-owned rival – but industry experts say there are too many hurdles

 
Germany’s Deutsche Bahn is looking to offload Arriva

 

Stagecoach is reported to be considering a bid for all or part of rival group Arriva. However, industry analysts say that the high number of overlaps with its existing UK operations means that a deal is unlikely to happen.

Germany’s Deutsche Bahn is looking to offload Arriva amid pressure to reduce mounting debts (PT206). City sources say that Perth-based Stagecoach is interested in buying Arriva’s bus businesses. Arriva operates 5,065 buses in England and Wales and a further 13,488 buses across 13 other countries in Europe.

I think the Competition and Markets Authority might have quite a lot to say about the idea. I’m not sure that Transport for London would be ecstatic, either

In the UK, however, Arriva’s operations overlap with many existing Stagecoach operations, notably in London, Merseyside and the North East. “I think the Competition and Markets Authority might have quite a lot to say about the idea. I’m not sure that Transport for London would be ecstatic, either,” commented transport analyst Chris Cheek. “I can’t see it happening myself.”

A City transport analyst meanwhile told Passenger Transport a deal would be “very difficult” given DB’s likely preference to sell Arriva in a single, straightforward transaction. “This doesn’t look like a doable deal from the point of view of the vendor.”

 
This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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