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‘Arriva piques interest of PE firms’
Posted on Friday, 06 September 2019 13:50
A number of prospective acquirors are battling it out as the auction for Deutsche Bahn’s Arriva unit nears its conclusion, people in the know told Reuters.

The sources said private equity investors Carlyle and Apollo have thrown their hats into the ring and are in the process of drawing up competing bids.

According to the people, these are the most likely buyers, although Lone Star is also in contention and confirmatory offers are not expected until Thursday next week.

They added that any deal is expected to value Arriva at between EUR 3.00 billion and EUR 4.00 billion.

Reuters’ sources noted that there has also been some interest from the UK bus, coach and train operator’s peers, including the likes it Keolis, Go-Ahead, Stagecoach, Transdev and ComfortdelGro, but these are only interested in parts of the company.

None of the parties involved have commented on the report.

Reuters noted that an IPO of Arriva could also be on the cards and Deutsche Bahn is continuing to prepare for a potential flotation in Amsterdam and has held presentations for analysts.

A sale of the company was first reported back in October of last year, when reports suggested the German firm was mulling a divestment.

Deutsche Bahn has owned the business since August 2010, when it paid GBP 1.59 billion to acquire it. Upon completion of that deal, the target delisted from the London Stock Exchange.

Arriva claims to be one of the leading passenger transport companies in Europe and employs in excess of 53,000 people.

The company offers bus, train, tram, ferry and car and bike-sharing services to a yearly customer base numbering 2.00 billion.

According to Zephyr, the M&&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, there have been 130 deals targeting transit and ground passenger transportation companies announced worldwide since the beginning of 2019.

The largest of these took the form of a Series F funding round by German bus and coach service operator FlixMobility; the firm raised USD 560.26 million from Baillie Gifford & Co, Luxor Capital Group and Odyssey 44, among others.

© Zephus Ltd