During the Ambrosetti Forum in Cernobbio, Mr. Renato Mazzoncini, CEO of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS), has announced the release of the new FS Group Business Plan within September 2016. It will be a 10 years plan (5+5), consisting in the following key pillars: the commitment for an integrated mobility (also through the new tech project ‘Traveling Companion’), the announced merger with ANAS, the restructuring of the Group’s freight business, the development of the international activities and the study of the IPO.
The CEO pointed out that a significant increase in the local public transport will be a key factor of the new Business Plan, with the FS’ commitment to become the access point of the integrated mobility, as well to take the lead in case of inefficient management of the local public transport companies. With reference to a potential acquisition of ATAC, Mr. Renato Mazzoncini confirmed the interest and willingness to manage the company, but he emphasized that, currently, there is no discussion with the government of Rome.
With reference to a possible merger between ATM and Trenord, “this could be a framework for a future integration”, the CEO said.
A first step of this digital strategy has been the agreement between FS and Google Maps, the object of which is to find the travel information and the train schedules.
However, Mr. Renato Mazzoncini says that “there is no intention of using this tool for the tickets’ purchase. We want to continue and strengthen our relationship with the customers.”
The aim of FS is to provide to the customers a single ticket, integrated with the local public transport companies, for the entire duration of their journey that can be rescheduled according to the customers’ needs.
“About the delivery of the project”, Mr. Renato Mazzoncini continues, “we expect to deliver a final version of it in the first months of 2017”.
“There will be the merger”, said the CEO, by pointing out that “in the last two months there was a task force to solve the issue related to the Anas’ remuneration mechanism, since the FS Group generates the 50% of its revenue from the market”.
“This task force worked in parallel on two different aspects”, he explained, “the first one to identify corporate synergies, and the second one to make sure that, after the merger with Anas, FS remain outside the public administration perimeter”.
Mr. Renato Mazzoncini positively welcomed the outcome of this work, saying that now there are the conditions to pursue the merger, consistently for the purpose of an integrated national infrastructure.
In order the pursue the internationalization objective, at the end of April there was a green light from the European Union to the fourth railway package which aims to create a single European railway area. Because of it “we are identifying partnerships in other countries. We have an interest in the Paris-Brussels line”, said Mr. Mazzoncini, by mentioning the recent trilateral agreement to achieve, at the end of 2017, the Milan-Zurich-Frankfurt line. “Our purpose”, he concluded, “is to establish European connections and to be a European operator”.
This is part of an international expansion that include the acquisition of Trainose, the Greek passenger and freight rail transport company which is under privatization by the Greek government. In this case the signing is expected at the end of September while in January 1st, 2017, there will be the shares transfer”.
Futhermore Trenitalia, in consortium with a local transport company, is going to take part in the UK rail franchise tender, for the Intercity West Coast franchise (a line between London and Edinburgh).
On the margins of the Ambrosetti Forum, the FS’ CEO met with the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkocich. They discussed about the cooperation between the Italian and Russian Railways, started on July 6th with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. This MoU provides the mutual development of projects for the construction and modernization of the railway infrastructure, in addition to the products and services provision for logistics and transport of freight and passengers.
The agreement also provides the cooperation in the construction of Russian high-speed lines, as well as joint projects for the achievement of new railway infrastructures in other countries.
Similar cooperation agreements have been reached with the Japanese Railways.
In the Business Plan there will also be the identification of the company's perimeter to list on the stock market. For this reason, the IPO will take place by following a different point of view than in the past.
The top management assured that 2017 is the year to assess the IPO opportunities and that there will not be spin-off of the Group’s assets.