Akiem shareholders agreed to enter into exclusive negotiations with CDPQ on the proposed sale of Akiem, a provider of freight locomotive leasing services in France and Europe with revenues of nearly €220 million ($225.48 million), EBITDA of around €150 million ($153.74 million) in 2021, a fleet of more than 600 locomotives, 46 passenger trains and some 250 employees. Headquartered in France with seven international offices, Akiem provides local expertise to more than 80 customers in 21 countries. The company has a fleet that is 75% is electric, a share that is expected to increase in the coming years.
CDPQ’s offer is subject to the customary consultation with employee representative bodies within the SNCF Group and Akiem. In addition, this transaction is subject to the approvals of certain competition authorities.
“CDPQ is thrilled to acquire Akiem, a major European player in the rail sector, and is looking forward to working with its team to bring the company to the next stage of its growth,” Emmanuel Jaclot, executive vice president of infrastructure at CDPQ, said. “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. With three quarters of its fleet already operating on electricity, Akiem offers a sustainable response to the challenges of decarbonizing transport, a solution that appealed to us from the start.”
“This plan to sell Akiem 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,” Laurent Trevisani, deputy CEO of financial strategy at SNCF Group, said. “Once the definitive agreements are concluded, this transaction will provide financing for our core activities and the group’s future growth while accelerating debt reduction. It also provides Akiem with the backing of a long-term partner and ensures the continued operations of this company, which will remain a business partner of SNCF. We would like to thank the Akiem teams for their involvement over the past few years and will continue to support them in the various stages of this project.”
“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,” Hamish Mackenzie, head of infrastructure at DWS, said. “Akiem’s success during our investment reflects the quality of its management team and their unrivalled track record in the European locomotive leasing market, as well as the quality of our long-term partnership with SNCF. We wish Akiem and its teams every success in this project.”
“This acquisition is a new step following a very successful collaboration between Akiem and its shareholders, SNCF and DWS,” Fabien Rochefort, CEO at Akiem, said. “We are delighted with CDPQ’s commitment, which will allow Akiem to continue investing in support of its long-term growth in the European locomotive and passenger train leasing markets. As rail operators face rising demand for more environmentally friendly transportation in a complex environment, Akiem is providing its customers with rolling stock that is sustainable, solid and reliable. We intend to continue innovating and developing our operational and industrial expertise to benefit our customers.”
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