The agreement was signed on June 17, but the deal will still require approval from European competition authorities before it can be finalised. The remaining 50% stake in LTE will continue to be held by GKB.

Established in 2000, LTE has steadily expanded its international operations in recent years and now holds operating licenses in Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, and the Netherlands. The company operates 32 locomotives and a sizeable wagon fleet.

Rhenus says the acquisition will complement its existing portfolio of railfreight operations in western, eastern, and southeastern Europe.

In January this year Rhenus acquired a controlling stake in Swiss open-access operator Crossrail, which specialises in operating international north-south services from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany to Italy via the Swiss Transalpine corridors.