February 21, 2019

Netinera seeking new investor

Netinera, the German rail subsidiary of Italy’s Ferrovie dello Stato, is looking for a new investor as minority  shareholder Cube is putting its 49% stake on the block.

While Ferrovie will stay invested in Netinera, Cube will shortly start marketing its stake to other infrastructure investors with a view to striking a deal before summer break.

Netinera has mandated Rothschild to begin the process of identifying potential investors for the stake, which may fetch a valuation of between 650 million ($735 million) and 800 million, including debt.

Cube bought its stake from Arriva in 2011 at an enterprise value of 350 million, when Deutsche Bahn had to divest the unit following its takeover of the British transportation company.

Netinera has since expanded strongly and recently won public transport tenders, including the operation of regional trains from Magdeburg via Berlin to Frankfurt/Oder.

Business risks on such deals, which often run for 12-15 years, are often limited as more than half of the revenues are guaranteed by the state as it seeks to ensure frequency of trains on important routes.

Netinera has annual sales of about 600 million and Ebitda of about 80 million.

The company is expected to approach investors with track records of interest in rail assets, such as Antin, owner of Italy’s Grandi Stazioni Retail, private equity firm 3i, which has held UK firms such as Eversholt Rail, and DWS, which owns half of French rail group Akiem.