US infrastructure investor I Squared are to buy London red bus operator Arriva and the sale is believed to worth around €1.6 billion after German owner Deutsche Bahn secured the sale.
Arriva is one of the UK’s largest train and bus operators and London has the largest fleet of the red double decker buses.
The Sunderland based company employs 34,000 people across 10 European countries and also runs the London Overground rail network, the Chiltern and Cross Country rail franchise.
Arriva Group chief executive Mike Cooper said: “This is a great opportunity for Arriva and the start of an important new chapter for our business.
“I know that the team at I Squared share our belief in providing sustainable transport services that cater for the needs of tomorrow, as well as the pressures of today.
“I Squared’s investment in our business will help to unlock new opportunities and create value for everyone who is important to Arriva – our people, the planet, and above all the passengers we are privileged to transport every day.”
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union General secretary Mick Lynch said: “This sale of Arriva by German state railway to a tax haven-registered company underscores what a perverse and corrupt system rail privatisation is in this country.
“Our members have not had a pay rise in over three years despite huge profits and dividends generated for shareholders.
“And now we have the prospect of these ill-gotten gains ending up in a tax haven where there is even less scrutiny and even more wealth to be extracted from our railways.”