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French moves in London

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RATP is taking over some of Transdev’s UK bus businesses as part of a Europe-wide expansion by the French-based transport group, best known as the provider of bus and metro services in Paris. RATP will acquire the London United and Yellow Buses businesses – and part of London Sovereign.

Two depots which London Sovereign acquired with the NSL Services business in November last year will be transferred to RATP. This gives RATP just over 1,000 buses and 2,800 employees in Britain, and leaves Transdev with the former Blazefield group companies – London Sovereign, and businesses in Yorkshire and the north-west of England.

The move is intended to facilitate the merger of Transdev and Veolia, announced last December and signed this week – but still subject to regulatory approval. In taking on operations in England, Italy, Switzerland and France, RATP in return gives up its 25.6 per cent shareholding in Transdev.

With 2009 revenue of €8.1billion (£6.9billion) - excluding the contribution of assets being transferred to RATP- plus a presence in 28 countries and a workforce of about 117.000, the combined Transdev-Veolia group will be one of the world’s biggest transport operators.

The companies anticipate the merger will generate annual cost savings of €70million (£60million).

www.transdevplc.co.uk

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