European passenger transport group Arriva has taken lead position as the largest international passenger transport operator in Central and Eastern Europe.
Veolia Transport Central Europe (VTCE) has become part of the Arriva group following the acquisition of VTCE by Arriva’s parent company Deutsche Bahn.
Arriva is responsible for Deutsche Bahn’s regional passenger transport services outside Germany and is focused on achieving organic, acquisitive and contractual growth in passenger transport markets across Europe.
The cost of the acquisition has not been disclosed. VTCE annual revenues for 2012 were €253 million.
VTCE employs more than 6,300 people and operates some 3,400 vehicles from some 60 depots across six countries1.
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 55,0002 people.
* In the Czech Republic, VTCE is the bus market leader with an established presence around the major cities of Prague, Ostrava and Teplice, operating some 1,600 vehicles and employing more than 2,600 people. The acquisition sees Arriva enter the Czech Republic rail market, with operations in Northern Moravia.
* In Slovakia, nearly 600 employees and some 320 buses serve the Nitra region in the south west of the country.
* Arriva enters the Polish bus marketwith some 840 vehicles and 1,800 employees in the north and south of the country, building on Arriva’s presence operating trains in the north west of the country.
* Arriva enters the bus markets in Serbia - operating in Belgrade, and regional international and charter traffic in Pozarevac; Slovenia - operating in Ljubljana and Novo Mesto, and Croatia - operating regional, inter-regional and international services.
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. VTCE has a long established position in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland bus markets and an established presence in Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia.
“The businesses are highly regarded for their operational excellence and we will be seeking to build on this success. We very much look forward to welcoming our new employees to the Arriva group. We will focus on working very closely with our new partners and developing strong, long-term relationships that enable Arriva to bring value to clients and customers.”
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. In order to deliver on these and our existing contracts across Europe, we have invested significantly in our fleet, spending €468 million on new buses and trains.
“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. To achieve this we will continue to actively pursue a blend of further acquisitions and contract wins, while retaining and growing our existing businesses through organic expansion.”