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European railway companies Eurostar and Thalys merge

Eurostar International and Thalys have been combined under a holding company owned by SNCF, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québe, SNCB and Federated Hermes Infrastructure.

Eurostar International and Thalys have been combined under a holding company owned by SNCF, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québe, SNCB and Federated Hermes Infrastructure. No financial terms were disclosed. Eurostar and Thalys will both remain fully-fledged railway companies with headquarters in London and Brussels, respectively.

PRESS RELEASE

PARIS AND BRUSSELS, APRIL 29, 2022

The management of SNCF, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), SNCB and Federated Hermes Infrastructure, announce the alliance of Eurostar and Thalys.
The first stage of this alliance is the creation of a holding company owned by SNCF (55.75%), CDPQ (19.31%), SNCB (18.5%) and funds managed by Federated Hermes Infrastructure1 (6.44%). The holding company named “Eurostar Group” is based in Brussels and owns 100% of Eurostar International Limited (Eurostar) and THI Factory SA (Thalys), both of which remain fully fledged railway companies with headquarters in London and Brussels respectively.

The shareholders have also appointed Jacques Damas, currently CEO of Eurostar, as CEO of the new entity who will be supported by a symmetric executive committee representing both Eurostar and Thalys.

Initiated in September 2019, the Green Speed alliance project had been temporarily postponed due to the pandemic. Following a relaunch in autumn 2021, the project received approval from the European Commission at the end of March 2022.

The shareholders of Eurostar and Thalys are more convinced than ever that the combination of Eurostar and Thalys will help to meet the growing demand for sustainable mobility by promoting the development of rail transport in Europe. The ambition is to carry 30 million passengers a year within 10 years (compared to 18 million customers in 2019) under a single brand: Eurostar.

This alliance will also accelerate the recovery of Eurostar and Thalys, who have both been hit by the pandemic.

The new entity will offer the largest international high-speed network in Western Europe and aims to implement an ambitious sustainability policy over the next few years.