Colas Rail eyes up German market

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The German government expects to spend €86 billion on rail improvements over the next 10 years

The acquisition gives Colas Rail a foothold in the German market and is a key step in the company’s strategy for growth in countries with stable economies and high investment potential in the rail sector.

Hasselmann Group is currently a family-owned business comprising three operating divisions: Hasselmann itself, specialising in rail infrastructure, rail track specialist NTG and rail safety specialist LGM Logistik.

The group currently employs around 300 people and in 2021 it reported turnover of €70 million (£59 million). The group operates mostly in central Germany, Hesse to Saxony, working mostly for national railway operator Deutche Bahn.

HervĂ© Le Joliff, CEO of Colas Rail, said: “This acquisition illustrates our growth strategy across the G20. Once the Hasselmann Group has been integrated into the Colas Rail family, we intend to expand throughout Germany.”

Hasselmann managing director Peter Krauss commented: “Our aim is to increasingly contribute our competence and experience for the further modernisation and development of the German and European rail infrastructure and we are now looking forward to taking on this exciting challenge as part of the Colas Group or Colas Rail. We are convinced that this step is the right decision for the future and further successful development of our group of companies.”

The acquisition is expected to complete towards the end of this year subject to the approval by the relevant antitrust authority.

Colas Rail considers the German rail market a strategic challenge for its international growth. In 2020, Deutsche Bahn invested more than €10 billion in rail infrastructure and urban transport networks account for annual investments of more than €2 billion.

The German government has earmarked an additional €86 billion over 10 years to renew the national network, the second largest in the world with more than 61,000 km of track.

The annual growth of the railway works market is estimated at 4.5% per year over the period, says Colas Rail.

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