Arriva talks with SNCF are finished

ARRIVA has called off talks with SNCF, the French state railway group, over an equity tie-up with its transport unit Keolis.

Arriva began preliminary talks over Keolis back in January.

“No agreement was reached and all discussions have now ceased,” the group said.

Arriva plans to increase its share of the Europe bus and rail market but this failure has set back the group’s plans to take advantage of the increasing liberalisation of the continental transport market.

“Had this worked out it would have accelerated returns from Arriva's European strategy. However, the company is very engaged in the privatisation of European passenger transport, and further partnership deals could well emerge,” said KBC Peel Hunt analyst Paul Hickman.

The deal would have created an operation with revenues of almost £6bn.

Keolis operates 80 urban bus networks, with a fleet of 5,000 buses and more than 15,000 employees.