Speaking at a press conference this morning, DB CEO Mr Rüdiger Grube
confirmed that under European antitrust law, it will sell Arriva's
German rail business to a third party. "We said at the beginning we do
not see it as a deal breaker if rail activities need to be sold," he

Arriva has steadily expanded its portfolio of German operations in
recent years to become a major competitor to DB in the regional rail
market. Its subsidiaries include Prignitz Railway (PEG), East Hannover
Railway (OHE) and Regentalbahn. It also operates Alex services in

Grube predicts that DB-Arriva will become one of just a handful of
large companies that will in future dominate the liberalised public
transport market in Europe.

The future of Arriva has been the subject of intense speculation in
recent months. In February the company confirmed it was in talks with
French National Railways (SNCF) regarding a possible merger with Keolis
to create a European transport group. When these discussions ended in
failure last month, Arriva entered talks with DB which, despite rumours
of a counterbid from SNCF, has gone on to secure a deal. Grube says DB
was determined to buy Arriva but was not prepared to enter a bidding

Arriva operates two passenger franchises in Britain, Arriva Trains
Wales, and CrossCountry, and runs regional services around Groningen in
the Netherlands. It has operated trains in the Swedish region of Skåne
since June 2007 and last year Arriva secured a second eight-year
contract to operate regional services in western Denmark, ironically
fending off a rival bid from DB Regio.
db-arriva.jpgUnder European competition laws, DB will be required
to sell Arriva's German rail business, which includes
Bavaria's Alex network.
Photo: Keith Fender