Freight operation in Spain. Photo: SNCF

SNCF acquires Comsa’s rail freight subsidiary

French national railway company SNCF Logistics has acquired the Spanish Comsa Rail Transport (CRT) of Comsa group, after more than two months of negotiations. SNCF has held a 25 per cent share of CRT since 2015 and will conclude the complete acquisition soon, adding the company to its subsidiary for international operations, Captrain. The company will be renamed Captrain Spain.

The purchase must still obtain the approval of the Spanish National Authority for Markets and Competition (CNMC), but has been on the shelves since May this year. SNCF wants to increase its presence on the Spanish rail freight market to compete with German Bahn, which established the Spanish subsidiary Arriva. Meanwhile, Renfe is restructuring its organisation and buying new equipment to increase its profitability.

The companies

Current general manager at CTR Miquel Llevat will remain in position. The company was established in 2002 and it has developed successfully ever since, with revenues of 32 million Euros in 2017. CTR currently holds a market share of 13 per cent on the Spanish rail freight market and operated 19,200 trains in 2017, from 8,400 in 2013. However, the biggest Spanish rail freight company is still Renfe, with a 63 per cent market share despite its economic losses.

Captrain Spain will continue working with the Portugese rail freight operator Takargo. In addition, SNCF wants to develop new services on the Spanish Mediterranean and Atlantic corridors.“We are positioned on the main European rail axis and this acquisition strengthens our strategy,” the chief officer of SNCF Logistics, Alain Picard, noted.

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Author: Jose Gutierrez

Jose Gutierrez is RailFreight's correspondent in Spain.

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