VR Group acquires Swedish transport operator

VR Group has acquired Arriva Sverige, part of Arriva Group, a bus and rail company which operates in urban transport in Stockholm, and in regional transport in southern and southeastern Sweden.

The transaction is expected to close in early July 2022 subject to customary closing condition precedents, including approvals from the German Ministry for Digital and Transport and the Deutsche Bahn Supervisory Board. VR Group says that the investment is reasonable and does not endanger company’s Finnish business or domestic investments. The acquisition will not have an impact on VR’s Finnish customers or personnel in Finland.

The revenues of Arriva Sverige in 2021 worth EUR 300 million and following the acquisition, the operator will become an independent company under VR Group. Through the acquisition VR Group aims to strengthen its accumulated expertise in sustainable urban transport in Sweden and will become a significant transport operator in Sweden. Arriva Sverige has more than 170 million passengers per year and the company is Sweden’s third largest train operator, and fourth largest bus operator. The acquisition also means around 3,800 new employees for VR Group.
“As a veteran in the transport business and a pioneer in climate-friendly commuting services VR Group can provide Arriva Sverige with great growth opportunities. We look forward to the opportunity to utilise VR Group’s expertise and to developing our electric bus traffic together with VR Group”, Johan Lindgren, CEO of Arriva Sverige said.

VR Group has previously expanded its operations in city traffic in the Helsinki region and in Tampere, and its bus company Pohjolan Liikenne owns a total of over 185 electric buses around Finland. Thus, VR Group is a pioneer in electric bus traffic and aims to invest in the electrification of bus traffic also in Sweden.

VR Group aims for strategic growth to secure quality services in Finland and to be able to succeed in future competition in the domestic market. VR Group’s monopoly on the Finnish market was abolished a year ago and VR Group is now preparing for a scenario where there are multiple operators in the market.

“As the Finnish market for public transport opens, the competition will increase and ensuring VR Group’s competitiveness will be crucial. To ensure VR Group’s competitiveness our strategy is now to grow in the opening urban transport market in the Nordics”, Lauri Sipponen, President and CEO of VR Group said.
This acquisition will allow VR Group to enter a tendering market that is multiple in size compared to Finland and growing, supported by population growth, urbanisation and significant public investments in infrastructure, rail traffic and public transport. With the acquisition VR Group’s competitiveness will improve significantly both in bus and rail transport – in Sweden and in Finland.

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