Deutsche Bahn will offer Arriva £1.5bn

GERMAN state rail company Deutsche Bahn is willing to offer just over £1.5bn in cash to buy Arriva, the British train and bus operator said.

Arriva said it was in advanced talks with Deutsche Bahn about its offer of 775p per share and that Arriva shareholders would be entitled to receive a proposed final dividend of 18.8p per share, in addition to Bahn’s 775p per share cash offer.

Including Arriva’s debt, the total offer is thought to amount to £2.4bn. Sources added that the deal would be financed entirely through the issuance of bonds by the German company.

The takeover, which would be the most expensive in Deutsche Bahn’s history, is aimed at strengthening its passenger service throughout Europe.

Deutsche Bahn’s supervisory board is expected to approve the bid tomorrow, one company source said.

Arriva shares, which surged a month ago when news of Deutsche Bahn’s interest first surfaced, closed up 3.3 per cent at 761p. The per share bid represents a 34 per cent premium to Arriva’s pre-bid closing price