A proposed management buyout led by Abellio UK Managing Director Dominic Booth could see the company’s UK rail and London bus operations return to UK ownership from its parent company Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS). Subject to approval, the deal could be completed by the end of the year.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval from the Office of Rail and Road as well as formal approval from partners including the Department for Transport, Merseytravel and Transport for London. It operated ScotRail until this was brought in-house by the Scottish Government in April 2022.
Abellio UK operates the East Midlands Railway, Greater Anglia, Merseyrail and West Midlands Railway franchises, plus buses in London.
The buyout follows a decision by NS to withdraw from the UK market to focus on domestic and international rail services in the Netherlands.
Announcing the buyout, Mr Booth said: ‘I’ve been a railwayman all my life. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return key public transport services back into UK ownership at a time when some of our competitors look destined for overseas ownership. We expect the business to transfer by the end of the year, following which we will focus all our energies and expertise on continuing to deliver the best possible services for our passengers, investing in our train and bus routes, and helping to develop a future ready, low emission UK transport network.’