Abellio to be bought out
Abellio is to be bought out from state-owned rail company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen, by a new UK-run transport company.
The move will pave the way for the new company to take over all Abellio UK’s existing services, serving millions of rail and bus passengers in London, Liverpool, the Midlands and East Anglia. The new company will be called Transport UK Group Ltd. By the end of this year, it will operate over 50 London bus routes currently run by Abellio UK.
The deal is led by Abellio Managing Director, Dominic Booth, who has decades of experience running public transport services in the UK. Completion of the buyout deal is subject to formal approval from partners including the DfT, TfL and Merseytravel as well as regulatory consent from the Office for Rail and Road.
After 20 years in the UK, Nederlandse Spoorwegen has decided to withdraw from the UK market to focus on domestic service provision within, and international railway services to and from, the Netherlands. Abellio has been operating in the UK since July 2003.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return key public transport services back into UK ownership at a time when some of our competitors look destined for overseas ownership” – Abellio Managing Director, Dominic Booth
Mr Booth said: “I’ve been a railwayman all my life. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return key public transport services back into UK ownership at a time when some of our competitors look destined for overseas ownership. We expect the business to transfer by the end of the year, following which we will focus all our energies and expertise on continuing to deliver the best possible services for our passengers, investing in our train and bus routes, and helping to develop a future ready, low emission UK transport network.
“Our wish to buy the company from Nederlandse Spoorwegen demonstrates our confidence in the existing Abellio UK team, both in our Head Office and on the ground. It’s the dedication of our 15,000 employees, together with a continuity of management, that will ensure our new company is a great success.
“We are grateful for the support and backing that we have received from Nederlandse Spoorwegen to date, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them to manage this process to a successful conclusion.”
Bert Groenewegen, acting CEO of Nederlandse Spoorwegen, which will continue to support the new company during a transition period, said today: “After a successful 20 years in the UK passenger transport market, NS is proud to support this natural next step for Abellio UK as it transitions with our blessing into a new management owned passenger transport group.”
Mr Booth added: “This deal will put us in a strong position to continue the smooth operating of our current routes as well as giving us the capability to grow the business and bid for new franchises in the future. Beyond that, we are, and will continue to be, thought leaders in our sector determined to play a long-term and vital role in future of UK transport.”