Arriva pays £1.1m for second Czech firm

Transport group Arriva has extended its toe-hold in the Czech Republic, buying its second operator in as many months.

Transport group Arriva has extended its toe-hold in the Czech Republic, buying its second operator in as many months.

The Sunderland company has paid £1.1m for Bosak Bus, which has yearly sales of £2.1m and is carrying £700,000 of debt.

Bosak operates 50 buses to the south west of Prague, employing 64 people, adding to Arriva's £5m acquisition in December of Transcentrum Bus, an operator employing 200 and running 124 buses north of the city. Arriva chief executive David Martin said: "This acquisition strengthens our position in the Czech Republic, particularly in the greater Prague area, following our entry into the market with the acquisition of Transcentrum at the end of last year.

"The Czech transport market began to open up in the 1990s. With the country's entry into the European Union, the timing is right to be part of this market as it continues to evolve, and we are well-placed to do so through our new acquisitions. We look forward to working with the management and employees of this successful business."

The Arriva company has sales of £1.66bn in the UK and Europe with more than 42% of that turnover now coming from Europe.

Arriva corporate communications manager Kate Griffin said: "We always intended to go into eastern Europe and have had our eye on the Czech Republic for some time. We are now the biggest UK-based public transport group on the Continent and we aim to become the second or third biggest service provider in every market we enter."

With these two recent acquisitions in the Czech Republic, Arriva now has a presence in nine countries, including Denmark - where it is the largest provider of bus services - Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

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