Arriva agrees to a £1.6bn German offer

ARRIVA’S board agreed to be taken over by German rail operator Deutsche Bahn for £1.6bn yesterday.

The UK rail and bus firm recommended a cash offer from Germany’s national rail operator, which will see Arriva shareholders receive 775p for every share they hold.

“This offer fully reflects the value of the business we have built and gives shareholders the opportunity to realise that value today,” said Arriva chairman Sir Richard Broadbent.

Deutsche Bahn, which runs services in 150 countries and made €29m (£25.1m) in sales last year, is likely to sell off some of Arriva’s German rail units in a bid to appease European Union competition concerns.

Chief executive Rüdiger Grube said the group did not see the sale of Arriva’s German rail units as a deal breaker.

Grube said: “Arriva will give Deutsche Bahn the platform to expand in Europe and enhance its position as one of Europe’s leading passenger transport groups.”

Arriva currently operates train and bus services in 12 countries across the UK and Europe and last year saw revenues climb to £3.1bn.

The acquisition will be subject to shareholder approval on 6 May.

Arriva’s deal with Deutsche Bahn follows talks earlier this year with France’s SNCF, which ultimately broke down.