German rail operator Deutsche Bahn has announced it has secured a bigger slice of the eastern European passenger traffic by taking over a French rival active in the region. Anti-trust authorities have approved the deal.
Germany's state-owned Deutsche Bahn reported Thursday it had acquired the eastern European division of French rival Veolia Transdev.
DB thus took over 6,300 employees as well as 3,400 trains and buses for passenger services in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia.
Following the acquisition, DB's subsidiary Arriva, which is in charge of eastern European operations, is now active in altogether 15 European nations. Before the deal, it already had 1.5 billion passengers annually, and the figure is to rise markedly in the years ahead.
Veolia's eastern European segment had recently reported an annual turnover of 253 million euros ($325 million). "We expect the takeover to result in a rise in our company's overall earnings right from the start," Deutsche Bahn executive Ulrich Homburg said in a statement.
DB's subsidiary Arriva is now the biggest international passenger service provider in eastern Europe. "We'll be able to cement our strong position there with the takeover," Homburger added, mentioning it would operate a lot more inner-city and regional train and bus lines now.
"We're bound to grow faster in eastern Europe than in Germany," DB told reporters. "The region simply offers much more room for expansion than in the saturated market back home.
hg/hc (AFP, dpa)