EQT and Kühne Holding acquire 35 percent stake in Flix SE

Photo: André Schwämm­lein, CEO and co-foun­der of the trans­port company Flix SE, which includes Flix­bus and Flix­train (Photo: Flix SE)
7. July 2024

Hamburg / Munich — EQT Future and the globally opera­ting Kühne Holding acquire a 35% stake in Flix SE (“Flix” or the “Company”). In addi­tion to a primary invest­ment in Flix, EQT Future and Kühne Holding will acquire shares from exis­ting share­hol­ders in order to build a long-term anchor stake in Flix. The company recor­ded sales growth of 30% in 2023, reaching EUR 2 billion in total annual sales for the first time. — The closing of the tran­sac­tion is subject to certain custo­mary condi­ti­ons and regu­la­tory approvals.

“We are plea­sed to welcome EQT Future and Kühne Holding as strong and focu­sed inves­tors with a proven track record of sustainable, long-term invest­ment stra­te­gies. Their capi­tal and exper­tise are a great asset to the over­all stra­te­gic vision of our company. We could­n’t wish for better part­ners to start the next chap­ter of the Flix jour­ney,” comm­ents André Schwämm­lein, CEO and co-foun­­der of Flix.

“EQT Future supports high-quality, growing compa­nies that have the poten­tial to be leaders in their fields. Flix is the perfect exam­ple of this. We are deeply impres­sed by what André and his team have built. They have deve­lo­ped Flix from a start-up to a clear global market leader opera­ting in 43 count­ries,” said Andreas Aschen­bren­ner, Foun­ding Part­ner and Deputy Head of the EQT Future advi­sory team.

“For us at EQT, it’s always about provi­ding more than just capi­tal. We are proud to part­ner with Kühne Holding, one of the leading trans­por­ta­tion and logi­stics inves­tors, and André and his team and look forward to support­ing Flix’s stra­te­gic growth agenda in the long term. We want to ensure that Flix’s low-carbon solu­tion for long-haul travel reaches even more people around the world, and we believe Flix is well on its way to making a name for itself in the indus­try and beyond.”

Domi­nik de Daniel, CEO of Kühne Holding AG, commen­ted: “Flix is driving the next gene­ra­tion of coll­ec­tive trans­por­ta­tion. Kühne Holding is proud to support the company as a stra­te­gic part­ner in its next phase of expan­sion. Over the past few months, we have built up a good rela­ti­onship with our colle­agues at EQT Future. We have great confi­dence in André Schwämm­lein and his team and look forward to support­ing the future of Flix in a bene­fi­cial partnership.”

Karl Gernandt, CEO of Kühne Holding AG, added: “As one of the largest stra­te­gic inves­tors in the trans­por­ta­tion and mobi­lity sector, Kühne Holding is now taking a further step into the market for coll­ec­tive bus trans­port. With Flix’s proven asset-light opera­ting model, we see great syner­gies with our other invest­ments in the trans­por­ta­tion sector. We also want to support the inter­na­tio­nal network’s expan­sion stra­tegy. We are buil­ding on the great success Flix has had in estab­li­shing the bus as the leading sustainable mode of trans­por­ta­tion — for more than a decade in Europe and now overseas.”

Promo­ting profi­ta­ble growth

The invest­ment comes at a time when Flix is conti­nuing to grow stron­gly and expand strategically.
The company recor­ded sales growth of 30% in 2023, reaching EUR 2 billion in total annual sales for the first time. This will be achie­ved with increased profi­ta­bi­lity and an adjus­ted EBITDA of EUR 104 million in 2023. The strong momen­tum enables Flix to achieve stra­te­gic goals such as expan­ding its global presence, trans­forming the North Ameri­can bus market and further scaling Flix­Train to respond to the incre­asing demand for alter­na­tive rail services in Germany.

Expan­sion of global presence

In order to further streng­then its geogra­phi­cal presence, Flix recently ente­red two of the most important
bus markets world­wide: Chile and India. The company’s global presence now extends to 43 count­ries world­wide. Euro­pean expan­sion is being driven forward with both Flix­Bus and Flix­Train. Flix­Bus is signi­fi­cantly expan­ding its services in Great Britain, Portu­gal and the Ukraine and has added new services in Norway and Finland. Flix’s clear goal is to achieve market leader­ship in these markets.

Expan­sion of busi­ness in North America

Flix has been opera­ting in the United States since 2018. In 2021, the company acqui­red Grey­hound Lines, an iconic inter­city bus provi­der, further expan­ding its reach, inclu­ding in Canada and Mexico. The trans­for­ma­tion and inte­gra­tion of opera­ti­ons into the Flix plat­form is well under­way, which is incre­asingly reflec­ted in a growing share of “asset-light” assets, driving growth and profi­ta­bi­lity in the market.

About EQT

EQT is a purpose-driven global invest­ment orga­niza­tion with total assets under manage­ment of EUR 242 billion (EUR 132 billion in fee-gene­ra­­ting assets under manage­ment), opera­ting in two busi­ness segments — Private Capi­tal and Real Assets. EQT owns port­fo­lio compa­nies and assets in Europe, Asia-Paci­­fic and the Ameri­cas and supports them in achie­ving sustainable growth, opera­tio­nal excel­lence and market leadership.
Further infor­ma­tion:

About Flix

Flix aims to trans­form public trans­por­ta­tion by offe­ring sustainable and afforda­ble solu­ti­ons for long-distance bus and train travel in more than 40 count­ries on four conti­nents. With its asset-light busi­ness model and inno­va­tive tech­no­logy plat­form, Flix, which was foun­ded in 2013, has quickly become a market leader for long-distance coach travel in Europe. After North America and Turkey, Flix­Bus, Flix­Train, Kamil Koç and Grey­hound are expan­ding further into South America and India.

Driven by the growing aware­ness of sustainable travel, Flix aims to become climate-neutral in Europe by 2040 and world­wide by 2050. In order to evaluate its progress within a scien­ti­fi­cally reco­gni­zed frame­work, Flix has set short-term targets for emis­si­ons reduc­tion with the Science Based Targets initia­tive. While Flix mana­ges the commer­cial side of the busi­ness such as network plan­ning, pricing, opera­ti­ons control, marke­ting and sales, quality manage­ment and conti­nuous product deve­lo­p­ment with a data-driven approach, trus­ted Flix part­ners run the day-to-day opera­ti­ons. The inno­va­tive combi­na­tion of Flix’s tech­no­logy and distri­bu­tion plat­form with tradi­tio­nal passen­ger trans­por­ta­tion has turned a Euro­pean start-up into a leading and globally expan­ding travel tech­no­logy company.
Further infor­ma­tion:

About Kühne Holding

Kühne Holding AG, based in Switz­er­land, compri­ses the busi­ness inte­rests of Klaus-Michael Kühne. With an entre­pre­neu­rial focus on invest­ments in the logi­stics and trans­por­ta­tion sector, it holds a majo­rity stake in Kühne+Nagel Inter­na­tio­nal AG and is the largest single share­hol­der in Hapag-Lloyd AG, Deut­sche Luft­hansa AG and Brenn­tag SE. In April 2024, Kühne Holding announ­ced the acqui­si­tion of the Aenova Group, a global leader in phar­maceu­ti­cal contract deve­lo­p­ment and manufacturing.




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