Italy's government-owned rail operator Ferrovie dello Stato’s (FS) bus unit Busitalia has signed a preliminary purchase agreement to acquire Dutch public transport provider Qbuzz.
In a statement, FS said: “The purchase of Qbuzz fits with the FS Group's process of internationalisation, part of the 2017-2026 Business Plan.”
Financial details of the acquisition remain undisclosed, however the transaction is expected to be completed after the receipt of authorisations and approval from the Dutch Consumer and Market Authority (ACM).
Qbuzz has a turnover of around €190m and is owned by Dutch rail provider Abellio Nederland, which is itself a subsidiary of Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS).
Qbuzz manages local public transport in the metropolitan area of Utrecht and the province of Groningen-Drenthe, and transports 160,000 passengers a day. It currently has a fleet of 614 buses and 26 trams.
FS has also signed agreements with Iran Railways for the development of rail infrasture in Iran as part of a separate initiative.
FS Italiane CEO Renato Mazzoncini said: “These agreements are a step forward for FS in the Iranian high-speed project, precisely the Qom-Arak line.
"The contract, around €1.2bn, will be effective within 180 days, being the time required to figure out the guarantees and financing issue, financing that will be provided through export credit mechanism granted by SACE.”
The deals cover the development of an Iranian high-speed network for the Qom-Arak line and the training of Iranian Railways experts in cooperation with the University of Science and Industry of Teheran, as well as scientific and educational cooperation.