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Škoda sold to PPF Group

What might have been – a Skoda 27T 100% low-floor tram was exhibited in China in 2015. Image: Škoda

Following more than a year of speculation, and negotiations with potential suitors including Chinese rolling stock giant CRRC and Czech billionaire Daniel Kretínsky, PPF Group announced it had acquired 100% of Škoda Transportation shares on 25 November. The transaction is reportedly worth in excess of CZK10bn (EUR395m); completion is subject to approval by regulatory authorities.

PPF was founded in 1991 by Czech entrepreneur Petr Kellner and has developed a diverse EUR35bn portfolio of assets in markets such as financial services, telecommunications, biotechnology and agriculture. Kellner retains a 98.92% stake.

Earlier this year Škoda announced record 2016 earnings of CZK1.57bn (EUR61.7m) against a turnover of CZH15.7bn (EUR616.4m). Although turnover had fallen by around 15% year-on-year, the company announced that net profit had risen from CZK588m (EUR23.1m) in 2015. Exports accounted for just over half of the company’s production during the period, employing over 5300 staff.

Trams remained the mainstay of its activities last year, with 87 low-floor vehicles produced for Helsinki, Bratislava and Praha and contracts signed for deliveries to Chemnitz, Eskiehir and Riga in 2016. It has also been involved in joint ventures for local assembly of its tramway products in China, including with CSR Quingdao Sifang and Beijing Subway Rolling Stock Equipment Company.