I Squared in talks to Buy Arriva from DB

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Arriva has had the for sale sign over its head for a while now. JONATHAN WELCH

Miami-based investment firm I Squared Capital is reported to be looking at a deal to purchase the whole of UK bus and rail operator Arriva from its parent company Deuteche Bahn, the German state railway operator, in a deal said to be worth up to €1.6bn. The US company is said to be in “exclusive talks” to acquire Arriva’s UK transport business, and is reported to be committed to buying the business as a whole, a point which has proved troublesome in previous sale attempts.

It is believed that terms and financing could be finalised as early as September; it has been known for a long time that DB has been looking to divest itself of Arriva, which it acquired in 2010 for around £2.9bn. Its previous attempts to sell the company failed in 2019, when bids did not reach sufficient levels. Since then, Arriva has reduced its footprint by selling businesses in Denmark, Serbia and Poland to turnaround specialist Mutares SE. The sale would would help Deutsche Bahn cut its debt at a time when it is seeking to modernise its domestic rail operations.