Connex, the Transport Division of Veolia Environnement, has strengthened its growth strategy in Australia through the acquisition of two Bus companies in Perth and Brisbane.

Connex has signed an agreement with National Express Group to purchase Southern Coast Transit, its Perth bus operation, as well as its Brisbane-based, National Bus Company Queensland for a total amount of €16 million.

Southern Coast Transit and National Bus Company Queensland employ 560 people, operate 328 vehicles and carry more than 16,6 million passengers a year worth a total annual turnover of €25 million.

It is expected that Connex group Australia will become responsible for these operations on 1 october 2004.

This development reinforces Connex's presence on this continent, in particular in its road activity where it already has operations in Sydney. These two new acquisitions show signs of healthy future growth as they operate in areas characterised by strong demographic growth.

The year 2004 is proving to be a milestone year for the development of Connex Group Australia. Connex became the operator of the entire Melbourne train network in April and just two weeks ago became the operator of the rail network in Auckland, New Zealand. With these businesses within the Connex fold, Connex Group Australia has more than 3,600 staff and services more than 170 million passengers per annum for a total annual turnover of €278 million.

Connex, the Transport division of Veolia Environnement, is the No. 1 private surface passenger transport operator in Europe. Connex operates in 23 countries and employs 56,000 people. In 2003, Connex generated a turnover of €3.7 billion. The company operates 26,000 road and rail vehicles and carries more than 1 billion passengers per year.

Analyst and institutional investor contact: Nathalie Pinon 33 1 71 75 01 67
US Investor contact: Brian Sullivan (1) 941 362 24 35
Press release also available on our web site: