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Comment: Issue 538 5 Feb 2010

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UK transport groups seek partners as new era begins

Arriva/Keolis merger could see Deutsche Bahn target FirstGroup

James Dark

It is all coyness and shrugs from Arriva and Keolis, effectively the international arm of French state railway SNCF, on their discussions over a potential merger. Neither is saying who proposed to whom or why. However, what is clear is that their talks mark the start of a new era in the passenger transport industry in which giant European groups are expected to emerge.

The Arriva/SNCF discussions follow plans for a tie-up between Keolis’s French rivals Veolia and Transdev. Keolis had...

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