The supervisory board of Deutsche Bahn (DB) has said it will make a final decision in the autumn over the possible sale of a minority stake in Arriva and DB Schenker.
DB’s management board has been told to draw up an implementation plan for the deal, which DB says is required if it is to meet its investment targets and reduce the group’s debt.
It has been widely reported, although not confirmed by DB, that the group is expected to sell off a 45 per cent stake in both businesses, which it predicts will raise €4.5 billion.
Chairman of the supervisory board Professor Utz-Hellmuth Felcht said: “If we don’t take action, the Group’s debt will increase substantially by 2020.
“A third-party equity interest limits the level of debt and creates the financial scope necessary to continue the quality and investment campaign in Germany.”
DB plans to invest 55 billion in its German rail operations over the next four years. Almost half of that, 20 billion, it will need to raised by itself.
As part of the group’s wider restructuring, DB Mobility Logistics will be merged with DB AG.