Progressive Railroading

Newsletter Sign Up
Stay updated on news, articles and information for the rail industry

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends


Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Investment firms swing deals to acquire U.K.'s Freightliner, Angel Trains


Bahrain-based investment firm Arcapita recently acquired United Kingdom freight-rail service provider Freightliner Group Ltd. from 3i, Electra Private Equity, and Freightliner management and staff. Terms of the deal, which is subject to European Commission approval, weren't disclosed.

3i and Electra were Freightliner's founding majority shareholders when the company privatized in 1996. Since then, Freightliner has expanded its business to include bulk freight movements and European accounts, and became the U.K's largest maritime container hauler.

Freightliner's operating companies, executive directors, management and staff will remain in place with "little change" to the company's leadership in the future, according to a prepared statement. All existing contractual relationships, including labor contracts, also will remain intact.

The change of ownership will ensure Freightliner can continue to develop its intermodal and heavy haul businesses, and expand international accounts, Freightliner officials said in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, an investor consortium including the Babcock & Brown European Infrastructure Fund, AMP Capital Investors, Deutsche Bank and funds advised by Access Capital Advisers signed agreements to purchase Angel Trains from the Royal Bank of Scotland. The deal — which has an enterprise value of $7 billion — is subject to regulatory approvals.

Angel Trains is a leading rolling stock lessor in the U.K. and continental Europe. One of three rolling stock companies in the U.K., the company's fleet includes 4,100 passenger train vehicles and 280 freight locomotives in the nation, and 240 locomotives and 180 passenger trains in Europe.

The consortium pursued the acquisition "at a time of continued growth of the rail freight and passenger markets in the U.K. and Europe," said Rob Gregor, head of infrastructure Europe for AMP Capital, in a prepared statement. "We believe that the liberalization of the European market and government investment in the U.K. mean that this is an exciting time to be investing in the U.K. and European rail sectors."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/17/2008