EUROPE: Wagon leasing and rail transport group VTG and sea, air and overland logistics company Kuehne + Nagel signed an agreement to merge their rail logistics operations to create 'Europe's largest private rail logistics provider' on September 27.

This follows a letter of intent signed in April. Subject to regulatory approval, new company VTG Rail Logistics is to begin operations on January 1 2014.

VTG will hold a majority stake in the joint venture, which will have 270 employees across 12 countries. The partners expect that the geographical scope and comprehensive range of services of the combined businesses will enable them to access new customers and market segments.

Kuehne + Nagel's intermodal rail logistics operations are excluded from the merger.

'The merger enables us to combine the expertise of two strong logistics partners that complement each other perfectly in terms of the regions and operations they focus on', said Karl Gernandt, Chairman of Kuehne + Nagel International AG.