American firm buys majority shares in £490 million deal
Freightliner Group is to be bought by American freight firm Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) in a deal worth around £490 million.
The group is currently owned by Arcapita, which has been the majority shareholder since 2008. G&W will acquire approximately 95% of the existing shares; members of the existing Freightliner management team will retain an ownership interest of around 5%, with G&W to own 100% by mid-2020.
Freightliner says the agreement will be mutually beneficial for both parties and the change of ownership will not impact on the day to day operations of the group and its subsidiaries. Russell Mears, the Group’s CEO, said, ‘Genesee & Wyoming brings additional investment firepower, extended international reach and rail infrastructure expertise to add to the existing strengths of the Freightliner Group.’
Jack Hellmann, President and CEO of G&W, said that Freightliner’s UK business will be ‘the cornerstone’ of its European operations, as it aims to develop its intermodal business serving deep sea ports in northern Europe. G&W’s North American operations are still expected to contribute the majority (77%) of its operating income.
Mr Hellman said that by ‘deploying best practices from both G&W and Freightliner’, the company would ‘enhance the safety and quality of [its] rail services worldwide’.
The acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter of 2015.