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Lineas enters into long-term partnership with Beacon and Ermewa through sale-and-leaseback of rolling stock

19 November 2021

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Today, Lineas announced its partnership with Beacon and Ermewa through a sale-and-leaseback of part of its rolling stock. The transaction will allow Lineas to reimburse entirely its senior credit facilities, further strengthen its financial buffers, increase flexibility going-forward and provide additional financial means to invest in the further transformation of the company and its European growth strategy.

Lineas is pleased to announce it has entered into a long-term partnership with UK-based Beacon and France-based Ermewa. The deal covers the sale and long-term leaseback of 109 T77 diesel locomotives (to happen gradually in the period 2021-2023), as well as approximately 4.000 wagons in 2021.

Jan De Raeymaeker, CFO of Lineas: “This sale-and-leaseback transaction is an important step towards our transformation into an asset-light company, keeping long term access to these strategic assets, whilst at the same time increasing the flexibility to up and down scale in a continuously evolving market environment. The deal allows us to further strengthen our financial buffers and repay the entirety of our outstanding bank debts. The released capital will also be used to accelerate our transformation and European growth strategy.”

Kurt Coffyn, COO of Lineas: “With Beacon and Ermewa, Lineas is gaining strong partners with the necessary expertise to help build a future-proof fleet at European level. The transaction will allow us to join forces in the development of new technologies such as Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC) and the European Train Control System (ETCS). These innovations are essential in making our rail offering even greener and more efficient, and thereby driving Modal Shift and contributing to Europe’s Sustainability Goals.”

Rob Dee, CCO of Beacon: “Beacon is delighted to have entered into this long-term partnership with Lineas through the sale-and-leaseback of 109 T77 locomotives. We look forward to supporting Lineas in their drive for continued modal shift across the European rail network through enhancements to these assets and future growth opportunities.”

David Zindo – President of Ermewa Group: “We are honoured and proud to have been selected by Lineas for this sale and lease back transaction, allowing Lineas to invest the freed-up capital in growth and business transformation projects. Lineas and Ermewa, as major actors in European rail freight, have a joint responsibility to make shift to rail as attractive as possible to existing and future rail freight customers. We are delighted to start working with Lineas on new wagon concepts, innovation and new technologies to fulfil this responsibility.”
As a result of the transaction, Lineas will continue to use the assets in its day-to-day operations as well as remain the entity in charge of their maintenance.

Lineas was advised in this transaction by Apex Rail and Allen & Overy LLP.

About Beacon
Beacon Rail Leasing are a rolling stock leasing company headquartered in Luxembourg and focused on serving the European and UK markets. Beacon Rail Leasing’s current portfolio will include 489 locomotives on completion of this transaction, 1,100 freight wagons, and 575 passenger train vehicles and intercity coaches operating in 17 European countries. Beacon Rail Leasing provides tailor made rolling stock solutions and prides itself on being agile, working collaboratively and helping each other to thrive.
https://beaconrail.com/en/

About Ermewa SA (Member of Ermewa Group)
Ermewa SA is a European leader in railcars leasing. The company provides maintenance, repairs, and operations through its European network of certified workshops and partners. Its addresses all segments thanks to its 44,000 railcars, dedicated to transport hazardous and non-hazardous liquids, gaseous, bulk and diversified general cargoes including food and non-food products. With a network of 16 offices in Europe, Ermewa SA provides industrial companies, railway undertakings and freight forwarders with a range of more than 120 different types of railcars. Ermewa SA is a member of Ermewa Group, which also includes Eurotainer as well as Raffles Lease and Demi, offering management and leasing of ISO tank containers to companies. Inveho workshops complete the portfolio of the Ermewa Group. Their range of services includes the construction, maintenance, and repair of rail vehicles.
www.ermewa.com

 

Lineas continues to build its presence on the North-South freight corridor in response to growing customer demand 

Lineas, the largest private rail freight company in Europe, is strengthening its presence in North Sea Port in Ghent (BE) with a new direct intermodal connection to Milano Segrate (IT).  The launch of the new service, which will operate five regularly scheduled return trips per week, allows Lineas to meet the growing regional customer demand for a smart and ecological alternative to road transport. The new connection is supported by 150 employees in Ghent, a key hub for Lineas, which offers several regular connections to the rest of Europe and is growing fast.

Lineas already operates a regular service to the Intermodale Milan Segrate terminal from Antwerp, Zeebrugge and Moerdijk (NL). With the new service from Ghent, the company adds capacity for its customers and strengthens the connection between Italy and the rest of Europe via Lineas’ Green Xpress Network.  With each scheduled train providing customers access to around 22 wagons, the new connection replaces some 11,000 return trips by truck every year. At the same time, the new connection increases capacity between Antwerp and Milano as trains no longer divert via Ghent on this line.

The decision to connect Ghent and Segrate is driven by extensive customer insights and a deep understanding of supply chain flows to and from these regions. A dedicated service to support the industries, including a growing need for a more ecological transport alternative and a clear demand to help reduce delays due to road congestion, was in high demand. Today we deliver on this need”, explains Matthias Herrebosch, Sales Director at Lineas. 

Connecting two major strategic economic hubs

Ghent in North Sea Port is one of Belgium’s major logistical gateways and plays an important role in the supply chain of many raw materials and additives, semi-finished and final products.  Daan Schalck, CEO of North Sea Port. “With the increasing pressure on transit times, often as a result of congested roads, this rail connection makes it even easier for companies to optimize goods flows by shifting to railLineas’ continued commitment to Ghent as a key European hub is a reflection of the economically strategic importance we play in this region. The company has continued to grow with us over the past years and has managed to set up an impressive service infrastructure that captures the needs of their regional customers, as well as providing them access to the rest of Europe via a growing network.”

“We have continuously developed our presence here and the new service from Ghent to Milano further underlines Lineas’ commitment to Ghent as a key hub for its operations, connecting an ever expanding regional economy to Europe and beyond,“ says Xavier Verschaffel, Head of Lineas’ Ghent operations, 

The Intermodale Milano Segrate terminal already receives Lineas trains on a daily basis from different European locations and was chosen for it strategic location in Italy’s economic heartland, close to Milan and the industrial district of Bergamo and Brescia. The terminal offers numerous connections to other destinations in the country, such as Rome, Naples and Sicily as well as cargo shipped eastward. 

Lineas building a rail-based backbone for European transport driving the modal shift 

Lineas has a clear growth strategy as it aims to gain speed through acquisitions and partnerships and build a true rail backbone for European freight transport that enables the modal shift. 

With its ever-expanding Green Xpress network, including nearly 25 regular services for both intermodal and conventional loads between European hubs, including access to seven of Europe’s strategic ports Lineas is increasingly opening up rail as a powerful alternative to road transport.  These connections are complemented with a growing partner enabled door-to-door offering, investments in technological innovation and over 7000 specialized wagons to transport nearly every freight type. 

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