Gimv and Cube Infrastructure Fund in exclusive talks to acquire the activities of Transdev Group in Belgium, Flanders’ largest independent bus operator

18/12/2013 - 17:45 | Portfolio

Gimv and Cube Infrastructure Fund are in exclusive talks to jointly acquire Transdev Group’s activities in Belgium, the leading private bus operator in Flanders providing transportation services mainly for the regional public transport authorities. It is the ambition to further strengthen the company’s position in Flanders and continue to grow the company, both organically and via selective acquisitions.

Transdev (www.transdev.net) is one of the world’s leading transportation companies and is active in Belgium through Veolia Transport Belgium (VTB), which operates daily urban and interurban connections under the authority of the public transport authorities. VTB is also active in school traffic, personnel transport and bus charter. In 2012, the Belgian company realized a turnover of EUR 94 million with almost 1,100 employees and a fleet of approximately 680 busses.

The divestment by Transdev fits into the strategic plan of refocusing on 17 core countries as announced early 2013, and implying divestments in selected countries including Belgium.

Once the personnel representative bodies of Transdev Group and VTB have been consulted on the transaction, European investment company Gimv and Cube Infrastructure Fund (“Cube”) would jointly acquire VTB and would hold a 49% and 51% stake respectively. Mobility remains one of the important challenges in Belgium and public transportation will continue to play an important role as one of the key levers to improve the viability of our society. VTB aims to further develop its business in the Belgian transport market by a continued focus on high quality transport services and successful participation in public tenders. The transaction is subject to approval by the competition authorities.

Thomas Dewever, Principal of Gimv on this transaction: "In today’s world, there is a strong demand for services, utilities and infrastructure with a sustainable community impact. A high quality public transport company perfectly meets the strategy and investment criteria of our Sustainable Cities platform. The joint efforts of Veolia Transport Belgium’s motivated drivers, its experienced and highly involved management team together with engaged and long-term financial partners should prove to be a winning combination for the further growth of the company. Veolia Transport Belgium will be the eighth investment for the Gimv-XL Fund and will contribute to the further diversification of Flanders’s largest growth capital initiative."

“Cube Infrastructure Fund is already very active in the Public Transport sector in Europe, through Boreal Transport in Norway and Netinera Deutschland in Germany. We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to expand this platform into Belgium, a country with high-quality public services and a stable regulatory environment for public transport. Thanks to the strong quality of its team and the long established relationships with its clients, Veolia Transport Belgium has succeeded in becoming a first-class operator in its market. By joining forces with Gimv, Cube intends to support the continued development of the company and further strengthen its positioning as a leading independent Belgian operator in the long term.” added Jérôme Jeauffroy, Managing Partner of Cube Infrastructure Fund.

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