German company considering sale of Sunderland-based Arriva
German rail company Deutsche Bahn says it is examining the sale of UK-based subsidiary Arriva.
Deutsche Bahn said in a statement that its supervisory board has asked management to pursue "various options" for a sale.
Arriva, which started life as Cowie, operates bus and train services in 14 European countries, and includes the Grand Central rail operator which runs trains between Sunderland and London.
The company, based at Doxford International Business Park, was taken over by Deutsche Bahn in 2010 for a price of £1.59billion.
Arriva had a turnover of 5.44 billion euros (£4.62 billion) last year and employs about 53,000 people across Europe.
A decision on whether to go ahead with a sale of the wholly-owned subsidiary is expected in September.
Deutsche Bahn, which itself is owned by the German state, said a sale would help limit its debts and give Arriva room to grow.