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National Express To Sell C2c Franchise To FS Italiane's Trenitalia For £70 Mln

Public transport operator National Express Group Plc. (NEX.L) Wednesday said it has reached an in principle agreement for Trenitalia, the passenger rail transportation company part of FS Italiane Group, to acquire the c2c franchise. The total consideration is expected to be around 70 million pounds, resulting in a small net profit for National Express.

Completion of the acquisition is conditional upon final consent from the Department for Transport and is expected to occur within the next three to four weeks.

Trenitalia UK made an offer following initial partnership discussions regarding future franchise bidding. The acquisition is the first step in Trenitalia's plans to expand in the UK rail passenger market, in line with the internationalisation plans of the entire FS Italiane Group.

Trenitalia will retain c2c's existing management and staff and build on its successful track record of delivering value for passengers.

Barbara Morgante, CEO of Trenitalia, said: "We see significant chances to invest in UK Rail and this in principle agreement with National Express allows us to foster these ambitions. This is why we are extremely delighted to have this exciting opportunity to run the UK's consistently best performing railway and serve the people of East London and South Essex."

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