STAR I, STAR II
In December 2005, STAR completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Abellio GmbH (“Abellio”), the Essen-based public transport operator, from Abellio Beteilegungs GmbH (“ABG”) (a subsidiary of the City of Essen). ABG continued to hold a minority stake in the business.
At the time of acquisition, Abellio operated a local transport (bus and tram) concession in Eastern Germany and a regional rail concession in North Rhine Westphalia. It had also been awarded two further regional rail concessions in the North Rhine Westphalia region and had a strong pipeline of further opportunities. Germany is Europe's largest local public transport market and, at the time, was increasingly moving towards liberalisation, primarily due to EU regulation and municipal budget constraints.
STAR supported management to grow the business through both acquisition and participation in public tenders. Under STAR ownership, Abellio grew from c. €20 million to c. €100 million of revenues.
The business was sold to NedRailways in December 2008.