DB Schenker Rail Takes Majority Stake in Italian NordCargo

DB Schenker Rail has increased its stake in the Italian rail freight operator NordCargo s.r.l. by a further 11%, the company announced on Jan. 13. The DB Schenker subsidiary had already acquired a 49% stake in January 2009, so it now owns 60% of the shares and thus the majority stake in the company, which is domiciled in Milan.

NordCargo, which was "hived off" by parent Ferrovie Nord Milano (FNM) at the end of 2003, is licensed to operate on the Italian rail network and is responsible for providing traction on international routes along the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian coasts between Milan and Naples. NordCargo has been active in the freight transport market since September 2001.

The present business of DB Schenker Rail Italia, now based in Alessandria, will be transferred to NordCargo, with the activities of both companies merged under the umbrella of NordCargo. This will lead to a new business enterprise with approximately 300 employees.

"The amalgamation of these two companies will enable us to improve our product portfolio in Italy and along the north-southbound corridors, thus laying the basis for attracting more transport onto rail in both the international and the Italian domestic markets," said Dr. Alexander Hedderich, chairman of DB Schenker Rail.

Norberto Achille, chairman of FNM, added, "In 2001, we were the first company to successfully tackle the challenge of entering the liberalized rail freight market. Together with the leading European rail freight company, we now play an even more important role in that market. In terms of transport volumes and revenues, we are the second-largest Italian rail freight operator."

The present DB Schenker Rail Italia was purchased by DB Schenker Rail Deutschland in 2004. It was the successor of Strade Ferrate del Mediterraneo (SFM), which had been founded in 2001. In financial year 2008, the company, whose activities are concentrated in northwestern Italy, had a workforce of approximately 100 and generated revenues of approximately €17 million.