Shares in travel operator Arriva raced this morning, following a takeover approach from rival European firm Deutsche Bahn.
Arriva saw its value rocket by as much as 14 per cent on the FTSE 250 this morning, following modest gains yesterday as the company confirmed it had received an “unsolicited approach from a third party”.
A £7 a share offer would value the company at around £1.2 billion.
The Sunderland-based organisation - which runs UK bus and rail services - including the CrossCountry rail franchise and a sizeable mainland Europe operation – is reportedly vulnerable to takeover interest.
Merger talks with Keolis - which is owned by French national rail operator SNCF – broke down recently.
The breaking news has also lifted shares in rivals FirstGroup and National Express.
Far from Certain
However, in an unusual caveat the transport operator refused to confirm a definite offer was forthcoming.
“There can be no certainty that any offer will be forthcoming. A further announcement will be made when appropriate,” the company said in a statement.
The state-owned German group’s new chief executive, Rüdiger Grube, has made plain to expand Deutsche Bahn’s interests outside of Germany.
Recent developments at the Channel Tunnel, for example, have seen the German company moot the possibility of running a new service from London St Pancras to Frankfurt.
However, the German government has also suggested plans to privatise the company in an effort to raise funds and improve efficiency, potentially complicating any deal with Arriva.