FINNISH national operator VR Group has announced the completion of its acquisition of Arriva Sweden, the third largest operator in that country.

VR Group signed an agreement to purchase Arriva Sweden on March 24 2022 from Arriva International, a subsidiary of German Rail (DB). The purchase price was not disclosed.

Arriva Sweden operates local services in the Stockholm region, in the Östragötland area and in the county of Skåne in southern Sweden. It has a fleet of 192 trains and light rail vehicles that handle around 54 million passenger-journeys a year, says VR.

The 3200 employees of Arriva Sweden have now transferred to VR Group, which says that the acquisition will not impact personnel. Services will operate under the VR brand.

VR says employees in Finland and Sweden worked together over the past few months to prepare for the change in ownership, and continue to work to develop a new, shared company culture.

”We have prepared this acquisition with care for a long time,” says Mr Topi Simola, interim CEO at VR Group. “Under our growth strategy, we want to expand in the Nordic countries and Arriva Sweden was therefore a fitting purchase for us.

“Through them we will gain competitive expertise for the entire group at the same time as we bring our own know-how in building carbon-neutral public transport to Sweden.”

“We are very pleased with the new owner,” says Mr Johan Lindgren, managing director of VR’s operations in Sweden. “Our personnel have welcomed the owner from the neighbouring country with open arms and with joy.”