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Swiss Combi joint venture takes 35% stake in SBB Cargo

Swiss Combi is a joint venture of four family-owned Swiss logistics companies - Planzer, Camion Transport, Galliker and Bertschi

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Swiss Combi joint venture takes 35% stake in SBB Cargo

The formation of Swiss Combi follows a call from state-owned Swiss rail company SBB in September last year for business partners to take a minority investment in its rail freight business, in order to position SBB Cargo towards a more entrepreneurial stance. To facilitate this, SBB Cargo was positioned as a stand-alone company within SBB Group on January 1, 2019.

 

Planzer Holding AG and Camion Transport AG each have a 40% stake in Swiss Combi AG, while Galliker Holding AG and Bertschi AG – whose rail terminal in Birrfeld/Lupfig is shown above – each have 10%.

 

There is a precedent for involving the private sector in Swiss railways. In 2010, Hupac - of which the four companies above are members - took a 25% stake in a new joint venture with SBB Cargo, called SBB Cargo International.

Bertschi photo of Swiss transit shipments in Hupac's Busto Arsizio terminal in Italy
Bertschi photo of Swiss transit shipments in Hupac's Busto Arsizio terminal in Italy

As part of the Swiss Combi settlement, SBB Cargo’s equity stake in SBB Cargo International

is being transferred to SBB Group, so it is out-of-scope of the Swiss Combi transaction, which relates soley to the Swiss domestic rail freight business.

 

And last year Hupac acquired the whole of ERS Railways, including its 47% stake in boxxXpress.

 

In a statement, Bertschi said: "The Swiss logistics firms Planzer, Camion Transport, Galliker, and Bertschi move significant volumes in the Swiss and international road and rail freight transportation markets.

 

"They have a mutual interest in a sustainable modal split between rail and road as well as in a competitive Swiss rail freight market offering. Therefore, the four companies decided to pursue an equity participation in SBB Cargo through the joint entity Swiss Combi.

Camion is one of two 40% stakeholders in Swiss Combi
Camion is one of two 40% stakeholders in Swiss Combi

"The 35% equity participation of Swiss Combi and the corresponding minority shareholder rights shall ensure a partnership-driven market development of the rail freight business."

 

SBB will remain majority shareholder of SBB Cargo with a 65% stake. The Board of Directors of SBB Cargo will be constituted by three representatives of SBB, two representatives of Swiss Combi, and one independent Board Member.

 

Closing of the transaction is subject to approval of the relevant antitrust authorities, foreseen to be granted in spring 2020. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed.

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