France’s Colas buys Finnish rail and road builder

Finland (Karl Vilhjálmsson/Dreamstime)
French contractor Colas is to acquire 1,600-strong Finnish rail and road builder Destia from family-run Ahlström Capital Group for an undisclosed amount.

Colas said the deal would allow it to expand in northern Europe, where it believes there will be growing demand for the construction and maintenance of transport infrastructure. Destia had revenue of €564m last year.

Francis Grass, managing director for Colas’ Europe and Middle East region, said: “We are very impressed by Destia’s skills and expertise, particularly in terms of digitalisation of construction sites and maintenance services in harsh weather conditions.

“We see the opportunity to further develop business lines such as rail and earth and rock services, and Colas will bring onboard its expertise in complex projects management.”

Lasse Heinonen, Ahlström Capital’s president, said: “Together with the management of Destia, we have developed the company to a leading infrastructure service provider in Finland in a competitive market. The company has strengthened its capabilities in many key areas including digitalisation in its maintenance business.

“With Colas as a new industrial owner, the company is in good hands for the next phase of its growth journey.”

The deal is still subject to the approval of the competition authorities, but is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Colas is also planning expansions into the US and Germany.

Image: Finland (Karl Vilhjálmsson/Dreamstime)

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