SBB is looking for partners for SBB Cargo.

SBB is looking for suitable partners for SBB Cargo. It wants to improve the competitiveness of international rail transport against road haulage, as well as its nationwide service in Switzerland, and to strengthen profitability and improve the company's status as a self-supporting business operation. The goal is to find partners to help with positioning in the international market. Partnerships for the Swiss business will also be examined at this time. SBB is aiming to conclude a concrete partnership agreement in the first half of 2009. The application process will give interested parties the opportunity to propose suggestions for ways in which they could enhance their cooperation with SBB Cargo.

SBB Cargo has secured a solid position for itself in the deregulated railfreight transport market. Given the consolidation of the European railfreight landscape, SBB now wants to use partnerships to further strengthen its position. These would guarantee fulfilment of the federal government's stipulations and enable the business to be further developed according to customer needs and market demands. SBB has recently begun a process to find suitable partners to shape the long-term direction of its Cargo subsidiary and to ensure its sustainable profitability. Such partnerships provide attractive offers for customers and make railfreight transport a more competitive alternative to transport by road (intermodal competitiveness). Better use of the range of services and resources, as well as synergies in the areas of production, purchasing and IT, are also expected.

Ready for discussions with all interested parties.

The selection process for suitable partners, for which SBB is receiving support from the consultancy firm McKinsey, is expected to be concluded in the first half of 2009. The process will give all interested parties, both from Switzerland and further afield, the opportunity to put forward ideas and state their specific interests in a partnership. The applications will then be evaluated against pre-defined criteria: in particular, SBB Cargo is expecting potential partners to make significant contributions to reaching targets for transferring freight from road to rail and so improving intermodal competitiveness, to secure a nationwide wagonload traffic network for Switzerland that covers its own costs, and to improve overall performance. In addition, any proposals must be enforceable under anti-cartel legislation and must be sustainable. Only once this evaluation has been completed will the negotiation process with the individual partners begin, which will eventually lead to the conclusion of a single partnership agreement or agreements with several partners.

Those interested in a partnership can already find details of the application process on the SBB website at Declarations of interest, including a brief description of the nature of the partnership, are to be submitted no later than 22 September 2008 to SBB AG, Group Development, Hochschulstrasse 6, CH-3000 Berne.

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