ABC (Australia) - - NEWS -

BET­TER KNOWN IN AUS­TRALIA as the sup­plier of the Syd­ney trams on the In­ner West (L1 Dul­wich Hill) Light Rail Line, mas­sive Span­ish trans­port en­tity CAF has just bought Pol­ish bus com­pany So­laris – maker of the cur­rent (Euro­pean) Bus of the Year 2017 – it was an­nounced.

The in­no­va­tive Pol­ish bus man­u­fac­turer – whose zero-emis­sion, 12-me­tre elec­tric So­laris Urbino low-floor city bus also won the pres­ti­gious 2017 EBUS Award (or­gan­ised by the VDV - Ger­man As­so­ci­a­tion of Public Trans­port Com­pa­nies), and was the world’s first bus to fea­ture an­timi­cro­bial cop­per handrails to help re­duce the spread of germs be­tween pas­sen­gers – saw CAF ac­quire 100 per cent of its shares and will now be in­cluded in the mas­sive CAF group.

At the time of pub­li­ca­tion, Aus­tralasian Bus & Coach was at­tempt­ing to con­firm if the ad­di­tion of elec­tric buses to CAF’s for­mi­da­ble arse­nal of public trans­port prod­uct would see such ve­hi­cles here in fu­ture, ADR reg­u­la­tions per­mit­ting, given CAF’s es­tab­lished Aus­tralian PT busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence al­ready.

This trans­ac­tion will en­sure the lead­er­ship of the CAF Group and So­laris in the sup­ply of in­no­va­tive

“... we will cre­ate a leader in ur­ban mo­bil­ity so­lu­tions.”

so­lu­tions in ur­ban public trans­port in Europe and will strengthen the po­si­tion of both brands in the in­ter­na­tional mar­kets, the com­pany states.

The Con­struc­ciones y Aux­il­iar de Fer­ro­car­riles (CAF) com­pany is a Span­ish man­u­fac­turer with more than 100 years of his­tory and is listed on the Span­ish stock ex­change. The com­pany is en­gaged in the de­sign, pro­duc­tion, main­te­nance and sup­ply of rolling stock and rail ve­hi­cles.

Another area of com­pany’s ac­tiv­ity in­volves the lat­est so­lu­tions for ur­ban trans­port, in­clud­ing e-mo­bil­ity. The public trans­port ve­hi­cles pro­duced by CAF are known all over the world, i.e.: Europe, USA, South Amer­ica, Asia (In­dia and Ja­pan) and in North African coun­tries.

“CAF’s in­vest­ment in So­laris con­firms our com­mit­ment to the vi­sion of prof­itable growth and opens new strate­gic mar­kets to CAF,” said An­drés Arizko­r­reta, pres­i­dent and CEO of CAF Group. “To­gether with So­laris, we will cre­ate a leader in ur­ban mo­bil­ity so­lu­tions be­yond rolling stock, par­tic­u­larly in the e-mo­bil­ity seg­ment. We want to con­tinue us­ing and to de­velop So­laris’ valu­able brand and to keep its Pol­ish char­ac­ter. The com­bi­na­tion of both com­pa­nies’ know-how in pro­duc­tion, de­sign, tech­nol­ogy and ser­vices - to­gether with the track record of So­laris in bus prod­uct in­no­va­tion - will al­low us to bet­ter serve our clients while cre­at­ing share­holder value”.


Solange Ol­szewska, founder of So­laris Bus & Coach S.A., said: “It was not an easy de­ci­sion for me and my fam­ily. Over 20 years ago, my hus­band and I founded our com­pany that to­day em­ploys nearly 2,500 peo­ple and that is ac­tive on more than 30 mar­kets. I know that I am leav­ing the com­pany in good hands. The CAF Group will con­tinue the best prac­tice in the So­laris brand and will let it grow even more”.

“We want to en­sure all stake­hold­ers of CAF and So­laris com­pa­nies - in par­tic­u­lar our cus­tomers and sup­pli­ers - that we con­tinue all busi­ness pro­cesses and co­op­er­a­tion in an un­changed form and that we will ful­fil all our obli­ga­tions re­sult­ing from the bind­ing agree­ments,” added Arizko­r­reta.

Ad­di­tion­ally, CAF has en­tered into an agree­ment with the Pol­ish PFR in­vest­ment fund – Pol­ski Fun­dusz Roz­woju – for the ac­qui­si­tion by the lat­ter of a mi­nor­ity stake in So­laris (35 per cent) in the same terms and con­di­tions agreed by CAF in the ac­qui­si­tion of So­laris.

This agree­ment will ma­te­ri­alise in the next weeks once the ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dures are fin­ished and the au­tho­ri­sa­tion of the cor­re­spond­ing reg­u­la­tory en­ti­ties is ob­tained, it states. Through the par­tic­i­pa­tion of a solid fi­nan­cial part­ner like PFR as a mi­nor­ity share­holder, CAF main­tains the Pol­ish iden­tity of So­laris and strength­ens its po­si­tion to ac­com­plish the am­bi­tious growth plan of the com­pany, it adds.

Above: Go­ing... Go­ing... Gone! Mas­sive Span­ish trans­port en­tity CAF has just bought Pol­ish bus com­pany So­laris.

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