KKR Sells European Locomotive Leasing to AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets and Crédit Agricole Assurances


Leading European leasing provider for rail transport co-founded and built by KKR’s Infrastructure platform

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 20, 2019– KKR, a leading global investment firm, announces today the signing of a definitive agreement under which a consortium formed by AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets, acting on behalf of its clients (“AXA IM – Real Assets”) and Crédit Agricole Assurances will acquire European Locomotive Leasing (“ELL”), a leading pan-European provider of electric locomotive leasing solutions.

ELL was established in early 2014 by founder and CEO Christoph Katzensteiner together with KKR’s first Infrastructure fund, KKR Global Infrastructure Investors. The investment rationale was to meet the significant and unfulfilled market demand for modern, versatile electric locomotives, thereby supporting the broad political agenda to shift freight transportation from road to rail – a more economic and ecological transportation method – as well as to facilitate liberalization and competition in the rail market by offering leasing solutions to market players. Since its inception, the company has thrived and significantly exceeded initial expectations. While the initial business plan foresaw the purchase of a fleet of 50 locomotives, the company has after five years of operations built a fleet of over 150 locomotives that are leased on long-term contracts to over 20 customers across Continental Europe.

During that period, KKR has provided consistent support to the ELL team including through its dedicated Capital Markets team, which has led several rounds of financing for the company, each time expanding and enhancing the initial financing package put in place at inception of the company in 2014. The investment demonstrates KKR’s unique proposition in the infrastructure space, bringing experience of over four decades of building and improving businesses to the infrastructure sector, with a particular focus on businesses that have a strong ESG impact.

Vincent Policard, Member at KKR in European Infrastructure, said: “Having been there from day one, we are especially proud of what we have been able to create over the last five years together with Christoph and his incredible team. We have no doubt the future of ELL is bright and we will continue to cheer for the company from the sidelines.”

Christoph Katzensteiner, founder, CEO and minority shareholder in ELL, said: “I would like to thank KKR for having believed in us from the beginning and having enabled me and my team to turn the vision we had for ELL into a successful reality. I also want to welcome AXA IM – Real Assets and Crédit Agricole Assurances as our new partners, who will provide significant further resources to bring our company to the next level.”

The investment in ELL was made through KKR Global Infrastructure Investors, KKR’s maiden vehicle in the infrastructure space raised in 2011/2012. KKR has been active in the infrastructure space for a decade and currently has around $20bn AUM. The global infrastructure platform has completed over 30 investments in that period, half of those in Europe, across the energy & utility, transportation and telecom sectors. The team is currently investing KKR Global Infrastructure Investors III, a USD 7.4bn vehicle raised in 2018, and has been active in Europe this year with transactions including the acquisition of a majority stake in Hyperoptic, a leading UK fiber broadband provider.

Crédit Agricole CIB acted as financial advisor to KKR Infrastructure; Vinson & Elkins and K&L Gates served as legal counsels on the transaction.

For more information:

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE:KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

Source: KKR

Alastair Elwen
+44 20 7251 3801

Raphael Eisenmann / Stephanie Lorbach
Hering Schuppener
+49 69 92 18 74-86 / Phone: +49 69 92 18 74-24
reisenmann@heringschuppener.com / slorbach@heringschuppener.com

Categories: News


Regional Rail expands its geographic footprint through acquisition of Pinsly Railroad Company’s Florida operations


3i-backed Regional Rail, a leading owner and operator of short-line freight railroads and rail-related businesses in the Mid-Atlantic U.S., has agreed to acquire Pinsly Railroad Company’s (“Pinsly”) Florida operations with 208 miles of track across three short-line railroads, subject to authorisation from the Surface Transportation Board.

Pinsly’s Florida operations include the Florida Central Railroad, the Florida Midland Railroad and the Florida Northern Railroad. The railroads provide freight transportation, transload and railcar-storage services to a broad customer base of over 65 blue-chip companies covering a diverse set of endmarkets, including heating, fuel blending, building products, chemicals, food and agriculture, scrap metal and plastic resins.

Given its location in and around Orlando and Tampa, Pinsly’s Florida operations provide freight traffic that is over 90% inbound serving multiple, high-growth consumption markets throughout the state. With strong population and economic trends forecast for the region, the lines are well positioned to continue the impressive traffic growth they have experienced historically.

Al Sauer, CEO, Regional Rail, commented:

“Pinsly’s Florida operations are highly complementary to Regional Rail and expand our geographic footprint. The lines have a large and diverse customer base, a strong pipeline of new freight customers and service many highly attractive industrial development sites, all of which provide an exciting growth opportunity. We also intend to retain all of the lines’ employees and look forward to supporting and working with the local management team to continue the lines’ impressive growth.”

John Levine, CEO, Pinsly, commented:

“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Regional Rail and 3i to acquire our Florida operations. I have known the Regional Rail management team for many years and believe they will be very good stewards of the culture and team we have created.”

Rob Collins, Managing Partner, 3i North American Infrastructure, commented:

“This is an attractive and strategic acquisition for Regional Rail, given the similarities between the businesses. Combined, the two companies will operate 21 line segments across four states, with over 355 miles of track. The U.S. short-line network is attractive to 3i and the combined company will be well positioned for potential future acquisitions.”

3i invested in Regional Rail in July 2019. The company provides freight transportation, railcar storage and transloading services in New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware across three railroads with over 155 miles of track connecting into a diversified Class 1 railroad network. In 2018, the company moved over 13,000 carloads while serving over 70 customers across an extensive set of end-user markets including heating, fuel blending, food & beverage, agriculture, chemicals and metals. In addition to rail transportation services, the company also provides railroad crossing signal design, construction, inspection and maintenance services to a diverse base of over 100 short-line and industrial customers across 20 states.


Download this press release  


For further information, contact:


3i Group plc

Silvia Santoro
Investor enquiries
Tel: +44 20 7975 3285
Email: silvia.santoro@3i.com
Kathryn van der Kroft
Media enquiries
Tel: +44 20 7975 3021
Email: kathryn.vanderkroft@3i.com


About 3i Group

3i is a leading international investment manager focused on mid-market Private Equity and Infrastructure. Its core investment markets are northern Europe and North America. For further information, please visit: www.3i.com

About Regional Rail, LLC

Regional Rail, LLC is a transportation-holding company headquartered in Kennett Square, PA. It is the parent company of East Penn Railroad LLC (ESPN); Middletown & New Jersey Railroad, LLC (MNJ); Tyburn Railroad, LLC (TYBR) and Diamondback Signal, LLC. For further information, please visit: www.regionalrail.com 

About Pinsly 

Pinsly, through its subsidiaries, is a short-line railroad operator headquartered in Westfield, MA.

Pinsly’s Florida operations include the Florida Central Railroad Company, Inc. (FCEN); Florida Midland Railroad Company, Inc. (FMID) and Florida Northern Railroad Company, Inc. (FNOR). For further information, please visit: https://www.pinsly.com/

Regulatory information 

This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Corporation, a US wholly owned subsidiary of 3i Group.

Categories: News


EQT portfolio company Hector Rail Group to sell UK subsidiary GB Railfreight


  • EQT Infrastructure portfolio company Hector Rail Group to sell its UK subsidiary GB Railfreight, a leading rail freight operator in the United Kingdom, to Infracapital
  • During EQT’s tenure, GB Railfreight has experienced substantial growth through organic expansion of the contract portfolio into new segments and customers, and revenues have grown by 60%, while the fleet has increased by some 40%
  • Following the sale of GB Railfreight, EQT continues to own the remaining Hector Rail investment consisting of Hector Rail AB, with operations across Scandinavia, and Hector Rail GmbH, with domestic operations in Germany

EQT Infrastructure II (“EQT Infrastructure” or “EQT”) today announced that its portfolio company Hector Rail Group (“Hector Rail Group” or “Hector Rail”) has entered into a definitive agreement to sell GB Railfreight Limited (“GB Railfreight” or the “Company”) to Infracapital, the unlisted infrastructure equity arm of M&GPrudential (“Infracapital”).

Founded in 1999, GB Railfreight is the third largest rail freight operator in the UK and provides essential freight and non-freight haulage services to its customers. The Company’s team of 900 people operates well above 1,000 trainloads a week, moving approximately 23 percent of UK’s rail cargo. The Company has a fleet of over 180 locomotives and 1,500 wagons, transporting goods for a wide range of customers, including Network Rail, MSC, Bombardier, Drax, Tarmac and Aggregate Industries.

GB Railfreight was acquired by EQT Infrastructure II, through its existing portfolio company Hector Rail, in November 2016. The strategy during EQT’s ownership has been focused on driving sustainable growth, expanding into new segments and customers while continuing to provide best-in-class, environmentally friendly transport solutions in the UK rail market. Commercial initiatives have been supported by investments into the locomotive fleet, where locomotives and wagons have been acquired to further accelerate growth.

During EQT Infrastructure’s ownership, GB Railfreight successfully expanded its contract portfolio by adding additional contracts from both existing and new customers, and significantly increased its share of the UK rail freight market. There has been strong focus on driving expansion in the high-growth intermodal segment, with several new routes having been launched. Since 2016, GB Railfreight has expanded from being a one port only operator, to now having presence in several larger deep-sea ports in the UK, e.g. Felixstowe, Southampton and London Gateway. Over the course of EQT Infrastructure’s ownership, revenues have grown by 60%, while the fleet has increased by some 40%.

John Smith, CEO and founder of GB Railfreight, comments: “Together with EQT, the Company has been able to continue on our strong growth trajectory, adding a range of new freight services across the UK rail network and supporting the growth of the UK economy by transporting goods and materials across the country. We continue to see strong demand for our services and look forward to entering the next phase of growth together with our new owners.”

Anna Sundell, Managing Director at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Infrastructure, adds: “GB Railfreight has continued to grow and gain market share while continuing to foster a strong safety-oriented culture and best-in-class operations, ensuring that the Company can deliver high-quality services to all its customers. Management and the entire GB Railfreight team have done a fantastic job. With the ever-increasing demand for environmentally friendly transport solutions, GB Railfreight continues to be very well positioned to continue on its strong trajectory under Infracapital’s ownership.”

Following the sale of GB Railfreight, the remaining part of Hector Rail, consisting of Hector Rail AB with operations across Scandinavia and Hector Rail GmbH with operations in Germany, stands well prepared to continue its strong trajectory as independent train haulage and traction provider in the European rail transport market. Hector Rail offers environmentally friendly transportation services of heavy industry products, raw materials and intermodal freight to clients such as industrial companies, forwarders, and other transport companies.

The transaction is expected to close mid-October 2019.

Deutsche Bank AG acted as financial advisor and Clifford Chance LLP and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP as legal advisors to EQT Infrastructure.

EQT Press Office, press@eqtpartners.com, +46 8 506 55 334

About EQT
EQT is a leading investment firm with more than EUR 62 billion in raised capital and around EUR 40 billion in assets under management across 19 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 21 billion and approximately 127,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtgroup.com
Follow EQT on Twitter and LinkedIn

About GB Railfreight
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in London, United Kingdom, GB Railfreight is the third largest rail freight operator in the United Kingdom, with a turnover in excess of GBP 200m. GB Railfreight is one of the fastest growing companies in the UK railway sector and transports goods and provides services for a wide range of customers.

About Infracapital

Infracapital, the unlisted infrastructure equity arm of M&GPrudential, invests in, builds and manages a diverse range of essential infrastructure to meet the changing needs of society and support long-term economic growth. We take an active role in all of our investments, whether nascent or large, to fulfil their potential and ensure they are adaptable and resilient. Our approach creates value for our investors, as we target investments with the scope for stable and sustainable growth. Our portfolio companies work closely with the communities where they are based, to the benefit of all stakeholders. Infracapital is well positioned to deliver the significant investment required to help build the future. The founder-led team of experienced specialists has worked with 50 companies around Europe and has raised and managed over £5 billion across five funds.

M&GPrudential is a leading savings and investments business which was formed in 2017 through the merger of Prudential plc’s UK and Europe savings and insurance operation and M&G, its wholly-owned international investment manager.  In March 2018, Prudential plc announced its intention to demerge M&GPrudential and give it a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange. In August 2019, M&GPrudential announced its intention to list its shares under the name M&G plc when it demerges from Prudential plc in the fourth quarter of this year.


Categories: News


HPEF III has entered into an agreement to sell Norsk Jernbanedrift

Hercules Capital

HPEF III has entered into an agreement to sell Norsk Jernbanedrift Holding AS (“NJD”) to Baneservice AS (“Baneservice”). The agreement was signed on 5 July 2019, with closing expected to take place in September 2019.
NJD is a leading provider of engineering, construction and machine services, as well as equipment and products to the railway infrastructure in Norway.

NJD has experienced strong development over the past years, with strong growth in revenues and profitability. The order backlog is currently at all-time high levels, and the company expects to reach revenues of more than NOK 650m in 2019.

As part of the value creation plan, two add-ons were completed during the ownership.

Categories: News


DIF, CIMIC Group and CAF consortium reaches financial close on Regional Rail PPP


Sydney, 15 February 2019 – DIF is pleased to announce that the Momentum Trains consortium, comprising DIF Infrastructure V, CIMIC Group companies Pacific Partnerships, UGL and CPB Contractors, and Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), has reached financial close on the Regional Rail design, build, finance and maintain project in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

The availability based contract with Transport for NSW includes delivery of a new regional rail fleet, along with a purpose built maintenance facility in Dubbo, New South Wales. The fleet will enter service progressively from 2023 and will deliver a new standard in reliability, safety and comfort for regional and interstate travellers.

Rolling stock manufacturer CAF, will be responsible for building 117 new rail cars which are based on its successful Civity platform. CAF, together with CPB Contractors, will develop the maintenance facility and UGL will be responsible for maintaining the fleet and maintenance facility for the initial 15-year concession.

Wim Blaasse, Managing Partner of DIF, says: “DIF is excited to invest in this significant rolling stock project which will deliver a high quality rail experience for interstate and regional travellers and commuters. This project is the result of our strong relationship with CIMIC Group and CAF.”

Marko Kremer, Partner and DIF’s Head of Australasia adds: “DIF is delighted to be working in partnership with Transport for NSW on this major rolling stock project and contributing to the economic development of regional NSW. This new rolling stock fleet will deliver improved comfort and reliability, and make long distance travel on the east coast of Australia safer, faster and more convenient.”

The Momentum Trains consortium was advised by MUFG (financial) and Herbert Smith Freehills (legal).

About DIF
DIF is an independent infrastructure fund manager, with €5.6 billion of assets under management across seven closed-end infrastructure funds and several co-investment vehicles. DIF invests in greenfield and brownfield infrastructure assets located primarily in Europe, North America and Australasia through two complementary strategies:

  • DIF Infrastructure V targets equity investments in public-private partnerships (PPP/PFI/P3), concessions, regulated assets and renewable energy projects with long-term contracted or regulated income streams that generate stable and predictable cash flows.
  • DIF Core Infrastructure Fund I targets equity investments in small to mid-sized infrastructure assets and companies in the energy, transportation and telecom sectors with mid-term contracted income streams that generate stable and predictable cash flows.

DIF has over 115 professionals in eight offices, located in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Paris, Sydney and Toronto. Please visit www.dif.eu for further information.

DIF contact:

Allard Ruijs,

Categories: News


IK Investment Partners to sell Axtone Group to ITTIK


IK Investment Partners (“IK”) is pleased to announce that the IK 2004 Fund has reached an agreement to sell Axtone Group S.A. (“Axtone” or “the Company”), a leading manufacturer of highly engineered and customised components for railway industry, to ITT Inc., a US stock quoted manufacturer of engineered critical components and technology solutions for the energy, transportation, and industrial markets worldwide. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Axtone is Europe’s premier manufacturer of buffers, draw-gear devices, railway springs as well as other shock absorption and safety components for rail and metro vehicles and rail infrastructure. With over 200 product certificates and customers across the globe, the Company’s solutions fulfil the requirements of European, UIC, Russian GOST and Chinese TB/T technical standards. Axtone is headquartered in Kanczuga, Poland and manufactures its products across six locations in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Russia as well as in a joint-venture in China.

“Together with Axtone’s management, we have successfully transformed the Company from a European freight buffer manufacturer to a global provider of customised solutions for shock absorption to the rail industry. During IK’s ownership, we supported two add-on acquisitions within railway springs as well as fostered a restructuring of the Company’s operations and footprint. Our investment in Axtone demonstrates IK’s ability to support CEE companies, particularly in terms of international expansion and the implementation of transformational agendas. We wish the Company and its management team the very best in their next step of development,” said Detlef Dinsel, Partner at IK and advisor to the IK 2004 Fund.

“The partnership with a new owner is a real acknowledgement of the achievements of Axtone, and we would like to thank IK for their support. Axtone is well-positioned to benefit from its unique technologies and brand recognition. We are pleased with the opportunity to join ITT’s legacy KONI brand, as we have a shared commitment to innovation, quality and unrivalled performance,” said Oliver Feicks, CEO of Axtone.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of appropriate regulatory approvals.

Categories: News


Ratos AB: Ratos divests Euromaint


Ratos has signed an agreement to divest 100% of the shares in its subsidiary Euromaint, Sweden’s leading independent maintenance company for the rail transport industry, to SSVP, a mid-market private equity fund advised by Orlando Management. Enterprise Value amounts to SEK 650m. The divestment is not estimated to generate any exit results for Ratos.

Ratos acquired Euromaint in 2007 in conjunction with the ongoing deregulation of the train operator market. Throughout its history, the company has focused on delivery of high-quality rail maintenance services, thereby strengthening its market position as a leading maintenance provider for Sweden’s premium fleets, including Arlanda Express, X2000 and Stockholm commuter trains. The company has about 1,050 employees, with annual sales of approximately SEK 1,600m. The Euromaint German operations were divested in 2015 in order to streamline operations.

“Euromaint’s ability to deliver high quality services has strengthened the company’s position in the market for train maintenance. Ratos has owned Euromaint since 2007, and we believe that now is a good time for a new owner to take over,” says Lars Johansson, acting CEO of Ratos.

An agreement has been signed for the sale of 100% of the shares. The divestment is not estimated to generate any exit results for Ratos, taking into consideration the earlier announced impairment of book value that will be set in the third quarter accounts. The investment has generated a negative annual average return (IRR). The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2016.

For further information, please contact:

Elin Ljung, Head of Corporate Communications, Ratos, +46 8 700 17 20, elin.ljung@ratos.se

Lars Johansson, Acting CEO Ratos, +46 8 700 17 00, lars.johansson@ratos.se

Categories: News