French public transport companies RATP and SNCF are planning on selling a majority stake in transport engineering consultancy SYSTRA after entering negotiations with Latour Capital and Fimalac. 

While RATP and SNCF would retain a 20% stake each in the company, control of its operations would move to a French investment and holding company that would collectively hold a 58% stake in its capital. 

SNCF chairman and CEO Jean-Pierre Farandou said: “This proposed sale to players recognized in supporting industrial companies will allow the Systra group to reach its full development potential while promoting French know-how of railway engineering.” 

The notable move will see the two companies step away from full ownership of the consultancy for the first time since they merged their SOFRERAIL and SOFRETU branches to create Systra in 1995. 

In the announcement of the sale negotiations, the companies said that the new ownership would provide new financial resources to “accelerate its international development”, particularly highlighting the potential for new acquisitions. 

Jean-François Beaudoin, senior partner at Latour Capital, said: “With our operational culture, we will work alongside Systra and its employees to provide them with all the means to become the undisputed world leader in rail engineering with a target of €2bn in turnover in 2030.” 

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Since its inception, Systra has become a significant presence in the global industry with deals in places such as Saudi Arabia and South-East Asia and has grown its footprint through acquisitions including its recent purchase of Rail Systems Australia in December 2023.