[CH] Partial privatization of SBB Cargo approved – contract signed

The Swiss Competition Commission (WEKO) has approved the acquisition of 35% shares in SBB Cargo by Swiss Combi AG. The deal was announced in September 2019. On 21.04.2020 the final contracts were signed.

This article was first published on 02.04.2020 and updated on 23.04.2020

The Swiss rail freight market experiences a unique change in its history. Swiss Combi AG has taken a 35% share in the leading rail freight operator in the country – SBB Cargo AG. All of that with the intention to strengthen its wagonload, as well as combined transport traffic. The new situation in overview:

SBB Cargo ownership:

  • 65% SBB AG
  • 35% Swiss Combi AG

Also, SBB Cargo International (SBBCI) will be detached from SBB Cargo AG (which had a 75% share) and placed fully directly under the mother company SBB AG:

SBB Cargo International ownership:

  • 75% SBB AG
  • 25% Hupac AG

SBB Cargo, focusing on block trains, wagonload traffic, and combined traffic accounted for a quarter of the overall domestic market and is number 1 on the market. SBBCI, on the other hand, focuses on cross-Alpine traffic, holding approximately 38% of the market share here.

Swiss Combi AG is a joint venture of several logistics services providers, ownership of which is split as follows:

  • 40% Planzer Holding AG
  • 40% Camion Transport AG
  • 10% Bertschi AG
  • 10% Galliker Holding AG

With 293 mainline, 84 shunting locomotives and over 5,000 freight cars, the Olten headquartered SBB Cargo employs around 2,200 employees and reached a turnover of CHF 712 million in 2019. SBB, the Swiss national railways, are responsible for around 25% of all freight traffic in Switzerland, SBB Cargo in Switzerland alone has a 16% share.

For us, SBB Cargo is predominantly known by its distinctive, large ‘Cargo’ letters and the color blue. The company was founded in 2001.

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