EQT Future

EQT and Kühne Holding invest in Flix, the global travel company

EQT Future and Kühne Holding to acquire a 35% stake in Flix

Investment is part of a long-term strategic partnership built on a common vision for Flix’s next phase of profitable growth across new and existing markets and offerings

EQT is investing through EQT Future, its impact-driven, longer-hold fund, and will support Flix’s ambition to expand the offering of sustainable and affordable travel options

Flix SE (“Flix” or the “Company”), the global travel tech company, and EQT, the global investment organisation, together with Kühne Holding, representing one of the world’s leading logistics entrepreneurs and investors, today announce that a definitive agreement has been reached for EQT Future and Kühne Holding to acquire a 35% minority stake in Flix.

In addition to a primary investment in Flix, EQT Future and Kühne Holding will acquire shares from existing shareholders to build a long-term anchor shareholding in Flix. This investment will further strengthen Flix’s balance sheet and help accelerate the Company’s successful trajectory of profitable growth. The closing of the transaction is subject to certain customary conditions and regulatory approvals.

“We are delighted to welcome EQT Future and Kühne Holding as strong and purpose-driven investors with proven track records of building upon sustainable long-term investment strategies. Their capital and know-how will be a strong asset to our company's overall strategic vision. We couldn’t ask for better partners to embark on the next chapter of Flix’s journey”, commented André Schwämmlein, CEO and Co-Founder of Flix.

“EQT Future backs high-quality, growing companies that have the potential to be sustainability leaders in their fields. Flix is the perfect example of this. We are deeply impressed by what Andréand his team have built, having developed Flix from a startup into the clear global market leader, operating in 43 countries,” said Andreas Aschenbrenner, Founding Partner and Deputy Head of the EQT Future advisory team. “For us at EQT, it is always about providing more than capital. We are proud to partner with Kühne Holding, one of the leading transportation and logistics investors, and together with André and his team, we are excited to support Flix’s strategic growth agenda over the long-term. We aim to ensure Flix’s low carbon solution to long-distance travel reaches even more people across the world and believe that Flix is on a path to being the category defining player in mass ground transportation, with huge potential to become a household name in the industry and beyond.”

Dominik de Daniel, CEO Kühne Holding AG, commented: “Flix is driving the next generation of collective transport. The Kühne Holding is proud to actively support them as a strategic partner in their next phase of expansion. Over the past few months, we have established a great relationship with the colleagues of EQT Future. We have great confidence in André Schwämmlein and his team and very much look forward to supporting Flix’s future in a beneficial partnership.”

Karl Gernandt, Chairman Kühne Holding AG, added: “As one of the largest strategic investors in the transport and mobility sector, the Kühne Holding is now taking a further step into the market for collective transport by bus. With Flix's proven asset-light operating model, we see great synergies with our other investments in the transport sector. Furthermore, we want to support the expansion strategy of their international network. We are building on the great successes that Flix has achieved in establishing the bus as the leading sustainable means of transport – for more than a decade in Europe and now also overseas.”

Driving profitable growth
The investment comes at a time of continued significant growth momentum and strategic expansion at Flix. The company reported 30 percent total revenue growth in 2023 and thus, for the first time, reached EUR 2 billion in annual total revenue. This comes at an increased profitability with adjusted EBITDA of EUR 104 million in 2023. The strong momentum enables Flix to deliver on strategic targets such as the expansion of its global footprint, transforming the North American bus market and further scaling FlixTrain to respond to the rising demand for alternative rail services in Germany.

Expanding the global footprint
To further strengthen its geographical presence, Flix has recently entered two of the most important bus markets worldwide: Chile and India. The company's global footprint now stretches across 43 countries worldwide. With both FlixBus and FlixTrain, the European expansion is moving forward. FlixBus is significantly expanding its services in UK, Portugal and Ukraine and has launched in Norway and Finland. Flix’s clear ambition is to reach market leadership in these markets.

Advancing the North America business
Flix has been operating in the United States since 2018. In 2021, the company acquired Greyhound Lines, an iconic intercity bus service provider, further expanding its reach, including in Canada and Mexico. The transformation and integration of operations into the Flix platform is well underway and increasingly reflected in a growing asset-light share, driving growth and profitability in the market.

With growth comes responsibility
Flix is on a continuous mission to deliver a great travel experience while constantly reviewing the impact of its business. To underpin the Company's commitment to a responsible business model, Flix recently published itssecond voluntary ESG report for 2023. With its vision to drive sustainable and affordable travel, Flix aligns strongly with EQT Future’s mission to support market leading businesses which improve our planet through the products and services they deliver, while having the potential to shape their industries.

EQT: Press Office, press@eqtpartners.com
Flix: Lara Hesse, globalpress@flixbus.com
Kühne Holding: Dominique Nadelhofer, Dominique.nadelhofer@kuehne-holding.com

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