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Published: 3 September 2009      

SNCF and Eurotunnel acquire Veolia Cargo

SNCF and Eurotunnel groups have teamed up to acquire Veolia Cargo, the rail freight businesses of the Veolia group

Veolia Cargo, one of Europe’s biggest private rail freight operators, has a  presence in Germany, Benelux and France. Consisting of 20 subsidiaries, it employs nearly 1200 people and reported revenue of €188M in 2008.

SNCF has taken over the rail companies based in Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, while the Eurotunnel group acquires the French branch of Veolia Cargo (Socorail, Veolia Cargo France, Veolia Cargo Link and CFTA Cargo).

Notably, the deal means that control of Rail4Chem passes to SNCF, giving it much improved access to the German market and the strategic Betuwe Line.

Pierre Blayau, Deputy CEO of SNCF and head of the SNCF Geodis division, said: “This acquisition is part of our drive to develop rail freight, notably by intensifying international links for full train loads in Europe.

"For example, we will be able to operate directly trains between Rotterdam and France to meet the growing needs of our customers in this area.”

Eurotunnel has made its acquisition through its Europorte 2 rail freight subsidiary, set up in 2007. Up to now Eurporte 2's operations have been limited to north eastern France, moslty triage at Fréthun on behalf of SNCF and DB Schenker, as well as some traction services for them through the tunnel and to Lille-Dourges. It now has a chance to establish a national presence in France.

Both deals are subject to EU competition authority approval, but are expected to be completed before the end of this year.


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