Swedish private equity investor EQT Infrastructure II has submitted an offer to acquire Groupe Eurotunnel’s UK rail freight operating subsidiary, GB Railfreight.
EQT’s proposed acquisition offer was submitted through an indirectly owned company within its Swedish rail freight company Hector Rail Group. The deal represents its second investment in the European rail sector.
Groupe Eurotunnel CEO and chairman Jacques Gounon said: “I am convinced that EQT is the right owner to take GB Railfreight to the next level, given the strong focus on growth and sustainable long-term value creation.
“GB Railfreight has been a great success, proving that significant value can be generated in this sector. On the strength of its results, Groupe Eurotunnel will continue to favour long-term investments and shareholder return.”
With a fleet of more than 130 locomotives and 1,100 wagons, GB Railfreight provides various rail transport solutions and rail services to its customers.
The company transports goods for several customers including Drax, Network Rail, EDF Energy, MSC UK, Aggregate Industries and Tarmac.
EQT Partners director Anna Sundell said: “EQT has followed the European rail sector since the inception of its infrastructure funds and continues to see supportive macroeconomic trends across the sector.
“Following the acquisition of the Hector Rail in 2014, acquiring GB Railfreight is a vital part of the long-term ambition of creating a leading independent pan-European rail freight operator, further promoting sustainable transportation.”
The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of this year.
Hector Rail provides traction services across Scandinavia and Germany and currently produces about 150,000 train kilometres a week.