On 5th September 2018, Polish Development Fund Group S.A.  (Grupa Polskiego Funduszu Rozwoju S.A., PFR Group) and a Spanish company, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles S.A. (CAF) signed an agreement on terms and conditions of co-investment in Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. (Solaris), Poland’s leader on the city bus market and Europe’s leading bus manufacturer. The party entering into the agreement is a Fund (Polish Enterprises Investment Fund - Non-Public Asset Closed-End Fund), a part of whose investment portfolio is managed by PFR S.A. under a management agreement.
“Electromobility plays a special role within the Strategy for Responsible Development. PFR’s investment shall trigger further dynamic development of the Polish economy within the electric bus industry thanks to the support given to the leading Polish manufacturer and expansion of the co-operators’ network. Moreover, the parties intend to increase production capacity of Solaris’ plants located in Poland,” said Paweł Borys, Polish Development Fund President.
Solaris is Europe’s leading and Poland’s largest manufacturer of modern city buses, including electric-driven ones. The company is also Europe’s largest trolleybus manufacturer. Solaris boast unique product solutions and offers vehicles with all types of drive technologies: Diesel, CNG, hybrid, electric (battery- and mains-powered), as well as solutions based on hydrogen cells. The new Solaris Urbino 12 electric was awarded the industry’s most prestigious title, ‘Bus of the Year 2017’, in a competition for Europe’s best city bus held since 1989.
“The social and legal pressure on reduction of fumes emission, noise, and traffic is increasing as much in Poland as it is in Europe and the whole world. Clean public transportation is one of the key tools in resolving these problems and this is reflected in a constantly growing number of entities who are buying electric and hybrid buses. Additionally, improving profitability of electromobility solutions and ongoing technological advancement is boosting the market’s future prospects. The forecasted growth level falls within the range of 10% to 25% annually in the next few years. As a pioneer among European manufacturers of low emission vehicles, Solaris is predestined to make the best of the market’s potential. We are confident that cooperation with CAF is an optimum succession scenario after a period of contribution of the company’s founders into its development. The company has been growing dynamically and is seeking new outlets for its ever so improving products. We believe that the partnership between PFR Group and CAF, a global manufacturer, will enable Solaris to enter a new, higher level of development. Solaris stands a chance of becoming a part of a huge European platform of modern solutions for public transportation, especially within the scope of clean solutions Europe needs so much,” said Marcin Piasecki, Vice-President or Investment at Polish Development Fund.
“The CAF investment in Solaris is a continuation of the company’s ongoing growth and the improvement of its financial results, and enables both CAF and Solaris to conquer new markets. We wish to be a leader in comprehensive solutions for cities and regions and to offer electromobility solutions alongside rail transportation. CAF has been working on a city bus portfolio since 2013 and has decided to build its strong position within this area by means of acquisition growth. We intend to preserve the Polish character of the Solaris brand and continue its development. A combination of Solaris’ expertise and experience in design, development, manufacturing, and maintenance of buses will enable us to offer our customers even better products and services, at the same time creating shareholder value,” said Aitor Galarza, CAF board member for Finance and Strategy.
“The investment undertaken in cooperation with CAF is yet another example of PFR Group’s versatility and ability to execute investments aimed at improving the economic and investment potential of Poland with numerous and diverse partners, both private and public, as well as local government units and domestic and foreign players,” added Paweł Borys.
“An investment executed jointly with PFR as a financial investor expresses our intention to preserve the Polish DNA of Solaris as a brand and company and ensure the adequate financial support it may need to carry out its ambitious development plans,” added Aitor Galarza.
1] The party entering into the agreement is a Fund (Polish Enterprises Investment Fund - Non-Public Asset Closed-End Fund), a part of whose investment portfolio is managed by PFR S.A. under a management agreement.
Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. . - a leader on the Polish market (c. 50% market share) and a leading supplier of city buses in Europe. A vast majority of the company’s production is sold on foreign markets, foremost in the European Union. Since its inception in 1996, the Solaris plant in Bełchatów near Poznań has manufactured over 16 thousand vehicles, which are used in 32 different countries and 700 European towns and cities.
Solaris in one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of electric-powered bused and the largest manufacturer of trolleybuses in Europe. The company’s portfolio includes Solaris Urbino city buses, Solaris Trollino trolleybuses, Solaris InterUrbino coaches and special purpose buses manufactured in four plants located in the Wielkopolska region. The company employs c. 2,300 people in Poland and c. 500 in its overseas branches. Solaris constantly invests in the expansion of its production capacity and new technologies, electromobility in particular. In 2017, Solaris’ revenue from sales totalled over PLN 1.8 billion.
More information available at: www.solarisbus.com