Brussels, February 21, 2023 – Lineas and ERTMS Solutions announce today that they have found an agreement on the acquisition by Škoda Group of a majority stake in The Signalling Company.
The Signalling Company (TSC) develops its own Class B signalling system for Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany and European Train Control System (ETCS). The company is the result of a joint-venture between two Belgian companies: ERTMS Solutions, an industry leader in railway testing, maintenance and systems integration, and Lineas, the largest private rail freight operator in Europe.
With this transaction, Škoda Group acquires a 93.9% stake in TSC, which currently has 34 employees. The remaining 6.1% stays in the hands of the company’s two current CEO and COO, Stanislas Pinte and Frederic Du Jardin.
Lineas and ERTMS Solutions are pleased with this handover which will allow not only TSC to further develop but also Lineas to be equipped with an ETCS solution which is crucial element to reach its 2025 objectives. Along with the acquisition of the company itself, Škoda also acquires a running order to equip 110 locomotives with Class B signalling system and ETCS for Europe’s largest private rail freight operator, and former shareholder, Lineas. Škoda Group plans to utilize its own ETCS solution in its newly manufactured vehicles in the future, but will also offer it to other manufacturers of new trains or use it for retrofits of older vehicles.
“Lineas plays a crucial role to decarbonize the industry’s supply chain and wants now to focus on its mission, strategic ambitions and customers. We see our long term developments in digitalization, terminals, market consolidation, alliances and ESG and are happy that TSC will be able, thanks to its new main shareholder and credible partner, Škoda, to roll out industrially its very innovative solution of which we were proud pioneers”, explains Bernard Gustin, CEO of LINEAS
“The Signalling Company has been quite an adventure, and it is a subject of pride for ERTMS Solutions to have been part of it, building an ETCS Solution from zero in a radically different way, very much in line with the way we develop our own products. Having proven the relevance of this approach, we are happy to see this adventure now going to the next level, supported by Škoda”, adds Joseph Bours, CEO of ERTMS Solutions
Lineas helps companies make their supply chains climate-neutral by shifting their cargo from road to rail, reducing CO2 emissions by 90%. To this end, the company has built the largest private rail network in Europe offering customers fast, daily and reliable connections across the continent. Lineas has nearly 2,000 employees and is headquartered in Belgium with offices in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.
Lineas is the largest private rail freight company with the independent private equity group Argos Wityu (90%), FPIM and Lineas management as shareholders.
Since 2008, ERTMS Solutions has grown to become an industry leader in railways’ signalling testing, maintenance, and JRU decoding and analysis. Known most notably in the ERTMS world but also active in legacy signalling systems, ERTMS Solutions continues to work closely with key actors in the railway sector, such as Railways Manufacturers, Infrastructure Managers, and Operators. In addition to all the inhouse developed products and tools, ERTMS Solutions is committed to innovation and out-of-the-box thinking to help its customers face the evolving needs of the industry, as well as to supporting them when reacting to railways parts obsolescence.