EQT completes acquisition of GB Railfreight

Private equity group EQT Infrastructure II has completed the acquisition of Groupe Eurotunnel’s (GET) freight subsidiary GB Railfreight (GBRf).

The deal, which was announced on November 15, has a value of €180m and was made through an indirectly-owned company within Sweden’s largest private freight operator Hector Rail Group.

GET acquired GBRf in 2010 for £25 million and has more than doubled its activities, leading to forecast revenues of approximately £125 million whilst at the same time significantly improving its profitability.

Founded in 1999 by the current CEO John Smith, GBRf is the third largest rail freight operator in the UK, and provides a wide range of rail transport solutions and rail services to its customers.

The company’s team of 650 people operates more than 1,000 trainloads a week, moving approximately 15% of UK’s rail freight. GBRf has a fleet of more than 130 locomotives and 1,100 wagons, transporting goods for customers including Drax, Network Rail, EDF Energy, MSC UK, Aggregate Industries and Tarmac.

Bo Lerenius, Industrial Advisor to EQT and Chairman of the Hector Rail Group, said GBRf had proven its strength in the rail industry. "Its focus on innovation and delivery of outstanding customer service are two key factors that make us believe that GB Railfreight is an excellent fit with Hector Rail," he added.

GBRf CEO John Smith said: “EQT’s business model is very much aligned with GB Railfreight’s. I look forward to working closely with our new owners to support our continued growth ambitions.”