Deutsche Bahn, the German state rail operator could be close to selling Arriva, with a last-minute meeting taking place between the management of the company and the German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer. It is also believed the government-sponsored member on the board of Deutsche Bahn have had a disagreement with Directors over the proposals to get rid of Arriva as well as DB Schenker and with this comes a warning from state officials.
Domestic passenger rail performance has been dropping and Deutsche Bahn has been grappling with the problem for some time however, they are still yet to release a comment on these reports. There is a funding gap of around four billion Euros that needs to be filled and with the current levels of uncertainty surrounding Brexit, it is finding it difficult to come up with a valuation for Arriva.
Arriva has been operated by Deutsche Bahn as its international subsidiary for almost ten years and it also has rail and bus operations not just in the UK but also other countries although its headquarters is based in Sunderland.
Arriva originated from a vehicle leasing company based in Sunderland known as Cowie and was founded in 1938 and years later it moved into the bus market in the 1980s before taking on the image of the Arriva brand in the mid-90s. Deutsche Bahn purchased Arriva in 2010 and with this came three National Rail Franchises known as Arriva Trains Wales, Chiltern Railways and CrossCountry along with Tyne & Wear Metro, open access operator Wrexham and Shropshire. With this also came an array of bus companies in the UK and bus and rail operations in other countries located in Europe. In 2011, Arriva also took on the open access operator Grand Central but shut down Wrexham and Shropshire. However, in recent times, Arriva took the decision to withdraw themselves in October 2017 from the competition to become the next Welsh franchise.