Deutsche Bahn to Take Over Autotrans

Total Croatia News

The bus transportation company gets a new owner, but will we get ait conditioning?!

In the year in which it will mark seven decades since foundation, Autotrans from Rijeka will change its owner and become part of the international corporation Arriva Deutsche Bahn, reports Novi List on 29 July 2017.

Although both parties are still silent about the details, indirect confirmation of rumours came in recent days from the Croatian Competition Agency (AZTN), which has approved Arriva’s takeover of Autotrans, assessing that the acquisition will not have a significant impact on the road transport market in domestic and international traffic.

According to unofficial sources, negotiations between Arriva Deutsche Bahn and Autotrans have been going on for almost a year and a half, but no details of these marathon talks have emerged. Obviously, the negotiations are now in the final phase, given that they have received the approval from the AZTN. Rumours suggest that the new owner could appoint the new management of Autotrans by the end of the summer.

The financial side of the acquisition will likely remain a secret even after the official announcement. Nevertheless, it is certain that it will be substantial, given that Autotrans has become the leading national bus company. The company owns 500 buses that service approximately the same number of lines in the domestic and international market. Annual revenues at the Autotrans group level, which includes APP from Požega, Velebit Tourist from Gospić, Autopromet Slunj and Autotrans Lika, have reached 51 million euros, and together they have 1,000 employees. They also own a company in Germany, Pan Alpen Adria Mannheim. Autotrans is the only Croatian member of the Eurolines international association of bus operators based in Brussels.

Arriva is one of the largest passenger transport companies in Europe, headquartered in Sunderland. It is present in 14 countries, employing more than 60,000 people, and its buses, trains, ferries and trams carry about 2.2 billion passengers a year, earning an annual revenue of over 4.5 billion euros. Seven years ago, in 2010, the Arriva group was taken over by the German railways, Deutsche Bahn, whose annual revenues reach tens of billions of euros and is owned by the German government, with headquarters in Berlin.

Arriva entered the Croatian market in 2013, when it bought Panturist from Osijek, together with a fleet of 120 buses. “As a part of an international group, we are certainly aiming to grow and develop business operations in the Croatian market in order to offer our customers an even better service. I can confirm that we keep track of the market events and analyse all potential acquisitions,” said the director of Panturist and CEO of Arriva for Croatia Dražen Divjak a few months ago, when rumours started circulating that the German company was thinking about buying Autotrans.

In 2014, Autotrans moved its official headquarters from Rijeka to Cres in order to lower costs. Its CEO Zvonko Krmpotić said at the time that the competition in the market was becoming more fierce. “The Croatian transport market has been completely liberalised, so foreign companies have the same opportunities as local ones. Deutsche Bahn has entered our market, and prices have dropped by up to 50 percent in just a year. In such a situation, we must find a way to survive. The company has about 1,000 employees, from Slavonia to Dubrovnik. The average salary in the company is about 5,000 kuna, and our goal is to keep them at that level,” explained Krmpotić at the time.

“The AZTN believes that the acquisition will not have a significant impact on the market. After the acquisition, Arriva will have a market share of between 20 and 25 percent. Due to the pressure of other market stakeholders, that will not have a significant impact on competition,” said the AZTN in its decision to allow the acquisition.

The court register data show that there are about 200 shareholders in Autotrans, but the majority control is exercised by controversial entrepreneur Ivan Radošević, through a company believed to be led by his son Tino Radošević. Ivan Radošević is currently the chairman of the Supervisory Board. Due to various legal proceedings, the Croatian judiciary has issued an international arrest warrant for Radošević, who lives in Germany.

Translated from Novi List.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment