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NS sells Abellio Deutschland to BeNEX

With this operation, the Dutch company completes its foreign business venture after deciding to focus on the railway business in the Netherlands.

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The national railway company of the Netherlands, NS, has announced the sale of its subsidiary, Abellio Deutschland, to the German railway company BeNEX, a subsidiary of the British INPP (International Public Partnerships Limited). The move marks the end of NS’s international activities, which have spanned over two decades.

“We see the acquisition of Abellio as a great opportunity and at the same time a responsibility for the sustainable development of regional rail transport in Germany,” said Johann von Georg, CEO of BeNEX, in a statement.

The decision to sell the German subsidiary aligns with NS’s strategy, which was adopted several years ago when it decided that its international venture was no longer part of its core business. In line with this decision, NS sold its UK subsidiary Abellio UK (now Transport UK Group) to its UK management team last year.

During the time NS owned Abellio, the losses generated by the Abellio UK (profitable) and Abellio Deutschland (loss-making) businesses over 20 years amounted to EUR 200 million despite good results in the UK.

Abellio Deutschland, holder of three PSO concessions

The Berlin-based company currently operates three railway concessions in eight federal states. In addition, it owns the cleaning and security company PTS. The hitherto NS subsidiary had over EUR 400 million turnover in 2023.

The Dutch Ministry of Finance, a shareholder of NS, has approved the sale of Abellio Deutschland. The concession authorities and regional governments still have to formally approve the transfer, which is expected to be finalised in the second half of the year.

The sale will have no impact on Dutch passengers, as Abellio’s financial accounts and operating activities abroad and NS’s on the Dutch railway network are separate.

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