Following a review of the sale, the EC says it has concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns because the merged entity will have very limited combined market shares.

CRT had a turnover of around €25m in 2012 and operates exclusively in Spain. SNCF says its partnership with CRT will enable it to develop railfreight traffic between the Iberian peninsula, France, and central Europe as standard-gauge infrastructure is extended further into Spain.

The acquisition is being carried out by Fret SNCF through Rail Transport Holding (TFH) and will give SNCF representation on the board of CRT, which at present is 100% controlled by parent company Comsa-Emte.