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Govt to sell VR subsidiary to Norwegian buyer

A filing on the Norwegian Stock Exchange indicates that VR Track was valued at 225 million euros.

Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

Fully state-owned Finnish rail company VR Group announced Thursday that it plans to sell its construction subsidiary VR Track to NRC Group, a Norway-based private surveying services company.

VR did not disclose the value of the transaction. However a stock exchange filing by NRC Group on the Oslo Stock Exchange indicates that VR Track was valued at 225 million euros "on a cash and debt free basis with normalised working capital."

VR said that the deal will see the formation of the largest rail infrastructure company in the Nordics, with annual revenues of more than 600 million euros and over 2,450 employees.

The transaction will see VR Group become the largest shareholder in NRC Group, owning approximately 18.3 percent of the stock-listed company's shares.

VR Track will be renamed and rebranded as part of the NRC Group, VR said in a statement on Thursday. It added that the deal will not immediately or directly affect VR Track employees in Finland and Sweden. However it said that it anticipated new opportunities for cross-border cooperation.

NRC's filing noted that completion of the transaction is subject to anti-trust approvals in Sweden as well as regulatory approvals in Finland and must receive a green light from an extraordinary general meeting of NRC Group shareholders.

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