Parent group Deutsche Bahn acquires Veolia’s operations in central and eastern Europe, adding revenues of over £200m a year to Arriva’s business

Arriva has taken lead position as the largest international passenger transport operator in central and eastern Europe following the acquisition of Veolia Transport Central Europe by Arriva’s parent company, Deutsche Bahn, for an undisclosed sum.

VTCE’s revenues were 253m euros (£213m) last year. The operation employs more than 6,300 people and operates some 3,400 vehicles from some 60 depots across six countries.

Its core business is providing bus services to local authorities responsible for city and regional transportation. VTCE delivers other complementary passenger transport services including inter-regional lines, long distance and international lines, school, charter and personnel services, and a regional train service in the Czech Republic.

The acquisition complements and expands Arriva’s activities in existing markets in Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, and sees the business enter new markets in Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia.

It further expands Arriva’s growing portfolio of passenger transport holdings and contracts across the UK and mainland Europe, bringing the total number of countries in which Arriva has a presence to 15, with a workforce of more than 55,000 people.

More than 40% of VTCE’s employees (2,600) are based in the Czech Republic, where the company is the bus market leader. The acquisition sees Arriva enter the Czech rail market, with operations in Northern Moravia.

The deal meanwhile sees Arriva enter the Polish bus market with some 840 vehicles and 1,800 employees in the north and south of the country, building on its presence operating trains in the north west of the country.

Mike Cooper, deputy CEO and MD – mainland Europe, said: “This acquisition is an important strategic fit for Arriva. It provides a unique opportunity for us to achieve a sustainable, strong market leading position in Central and Eastern Europe.

“The businesses are highly regarded for their operational excellence and we will be seeking to build on this success.”

Commenting on Arriva’s recent growth, CEO David Martin said: “This acquisition will help build on the continued growth and development across our organisation. As well as building up our presence in exciting newer markets such as these, we have recently strengthened our leadership positions in key established markets, including Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK.

“Looking forward, the opportunities present in passenger transport markets in Europe are tremendous, and our experience and capability provide Arriva with a unique opportunity. We have a strong track record of delivering positive returns to shareholders, and bringing real value to tendering authorities, helping to transform the way in which passenger transport is delivered.”


This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.
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