Deutsche Bahn closer to bid for Arriva

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bahn DBN.UL on Saturday declined to comment on German media reports saying the rail and logistic operator was getting closer to making a bid for British train and bus operator Arriva ARI.L.

“I cannot comment on the reports,” said the spokesman in reply to an enquiry.

Citing sources close to the company, Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel said the management board of the German rail and logistics operator was aiming to garner support for the plan in a joint management and supervisory board meeting to be held on April 21.

The weekly magazine Wirtschaftswoche in abstracts of a report due to be published on April 19 also mentioned the planned meeting, saying it had information the board was aiming to take a decision “before the summer.”

Deutsche Bahn has been talking to Arriva as it seeks expansion in light of structural changes expected as the European passenger transport market opens up. IDnLDE62O0WY

Market speculation had linked Deutsche Bahn with a 700 pence-per-share bid valuing the UK business at just under 1.4 billion pounds before debt.

Arriva has operations in 12 European countries.

French state railway group SNCF has also been reported as interested in Arriva.

Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Toby Chopra