The wholly-owned subsidiary was acquired in 2010 and generated turnover of €5.44bn in 2018. Arriva employs 53,000 full-time staff in Europe.

Under the decision made at a regular supervisory board meeting in Berlin on March 27, the management of DB will now examine the sale of up to 100% of Arriva to one or more investors, as well as a possible IPO.

DB says the proposed disposal would enable DB to reduce debt growth while enabling Arriva to generate the financial scope for expansion.

In January DB announced a five-point plan to improve its finances in the face of declining profitability at many of its subsidiaries.