Operail Finland

FINLAND: Nurminen Logistics says its purchase of Estonian national freight operator Operail’s Finnish business has attracted great interest from its customers in Finland, central Europe and China.

Nurminen announced the completion of the transaction on February 14, saying it was now a full-service rail freight operator with ambitions to transport more than 4 million tonnes in 2023-24 and a capacity of 5 million tonnes/year.

Nurminen said it expects the acquisition to have a positive impact on its results and development, as Operail Finland has grown its revenue and operating profitability with volumes reaching 300 000 tonnes/month.

The deal will increase the demand for Nurminen’s forwarding and terminal services, and it also expects the global use of rail to grow faster than other transport segments because of its low environmental impact.

Operail disposed of its Finnish activities as part of the Estonian government’s policy for it to divest its non-core activities.

Operail Finland has been acquired by North Rail Holding, which is owned 79·8% by Nurminen Logistics and 20·2% by smaller investors. The €27·7m purchase was financed with new long-term debt financing instruments.

The deal includes nine 1 524 mm gauge Wabtec/Tülomsaş PowerHaul main line diesel locomotives and one C30-MF shunter, with two more shunters to be delivered this year

Nurminen noted that business risks include escalation of the Russian war against Ukraine and expansion of sanctions to goods such as food supplies and the green energy transition, ‘which we do not consider likely’.