VolkerWessels signs letter of intent on acquisition of Koehne Gleisbau activities

The Managing Board of Royal Volker Wessels Stevin nv (VolkerWessels) and the Directors of Koehne Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH & Co Holding KG are pleased to announce that the two companies have signed a letter of intent on the acquisition by VolkerWessels of Koehne´s track building activities.

Koehne Gleisbau is a division of the Koehne Group, which is based in Oberhausen, Germany. The company specialises in track replacement and maintenance and operates in Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and elsewhere. Koehne Gleisbau employs more than 900 people, including 200 in Germany and 35 in the Netherlands.
In addition to national customers (such as Die Bahn in Germany), Koehne Gleisbau also does a great deal of work for local authorities and industrial companies. Koehne Gleisbau wants to play a leading international role in the area of large rail infrastructure projects. The knowledge and experience accumulated in Germany and at its other national offices make the company an ideal partner in the future privatisation of European rail companies.

According to Andries de Jong, a member of the Managing Board of VolkerWessels, Koehne Gleisbau expects to generate revenues of approximately EUR 125 million in 2003. 'Koehne Gleisbau is a good fit with VolkerWessels´ strategy of further internationalisation in the area of rail infrastructure. The company´s activities will contribute to earnings per share in 2003 and the acquisition fits in with VolkerWessels´ aim to generate 25% of the EBIT contribution from foreign activities and service activities in 2004,' says De Jong.

Koehne Gleisbau was seeking an internationally-focused strategic partner which is in a position to secure the further growth of the business. The take-over by VolkerWessels, with its know-how and skills in the areas of catenary and signalling systems, will make Koehne Gleisbau´s anticipated growth possible.

The operational management of Koehne Gleisbau´s activities will be the responsibility of Volker Stevin Rail & Traffic, the Vianen-based division of VolkerWessels that is active in the areas of new and replacement track building and maintenance in the rail infrastructure market.

All the relevant authorities have been informed of the planned take-over.

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