Friday 21 February 2020 2:06 pm

Deutsche Bahn delays plans for Arriva flotation

Deutsche Bahn is set to delay its plans to float its international transport business Arriva on the stock market.

The German state-owned rail operator had planned to hold an initial public offering for Arriva in the first half of this year.

However, that will no longer happen, sources told Reuters following a supervisory board meeting on Wednesday night.

Completing a deal before the end of the year is also looking increasingly challenging, the report added.

In December, Deutsche Bahn’s chief executive Richard Lutz said the flotation of a minority stake would likely take place in May. The rest of the shares would then be sold over a three-year period.

The German company has talked of an IPO since 2016 in a bid to reduce debts, but had previously sought to sell.

Bids so far from companies, including US buyout group Carlyle, have failed to meet expectations, however, the report claims.

Arriva employs more than 50,000 people across Europe and has revenue in excess of 5bn euros. It runs British rail and bus franchises, although recently lost its license for the Northern Rail network.

Lutz has held the top job since 2017 and is facing increasing pressure to turn the rail operator’s finances around.

Deutsche Bahn has declined to comment.