EUROPE: Following a competitive auction, Akiem shareholders SNCF and DWS have agreed to enter into exclusive negotiations to sell the Akiem locomotive leasing business to Canadian pension and insurance investor CDPQ.
The transaction announced on August 1 is subject to consultation with employee representatives and regulatory approval.
Akiem was founded by SNCF in 2008 as the French rail sector opened up to competition, and DWS acquired a 50% stake in 2016.
‘Akiem’s size and positioning across the entire value chain, including maintenance, give it a significant competitive edge to benefit from the expected growth in the locomotive leasing market across Europe’, said Emmanuel Jaclot, Executive Vice-President & Head of Infrastructure at CDPQ. ‘With three-quarters of its fleet already operating on electricity, Akiem offers a sustainable response to the challenges of decarbonising transport — a solution that appealed to us from the start.’
|Customers||>80 in 21 countries|
Laurent Trevisani, Deputy CEO Financial Strategy at SNCF Group, said the sale ’is fully in line with SNCF Group’s strategy to become a global leader in sustainable mobility for people and merchandise, with the rail industry as a core business and two strategic assets: Geodis and Keolis’.
He said the transaction would ’provide financing for our core activities and the group’s future growth while accelerating debt reduction’.
Hamish Mackenzie, Head of Infrastructure at asset manager DWS, said ’since becoming a shareholder of Akiem in 2016, DWS has supported management’s strategic growth ambitions through its active asset management approach combined with the rail expertise of its partner, SNCF’.
Akiem CEO Fabien Rochefort said CDPQ’s backing would allow it to continue investing in the European locomotive and passenger train leasing markets, saying ’we intend to continue innovating and developing our operational and industrial expertise to benefit our customers’.