Beacon Rail Leasing has entered into an agreement with Ascendos Rail Leasing to acquire the latter. Pending approval from regulatory authorities, the deal is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2016. It is clear that Beacon Rail Leasing is rapidly expanding its portfolio. Earlier it had already taken over 27 diesel locomotives from MRCE (ER20 & Class 66).
With the acquisition of Ascendos again Class 66s (24) and EuroRunners (3) will be added to the fleet, as well as Class 145 (5) and Class 185 (3) electrics. Headquartered in Luxembourg, with additional offices in London and Munich, Ascendos’ current portfolio includes a total of 35 locomotives and 100 freight wagons on lease in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, 35 passenger train units on lease in Germany, and 67 double decker coaches on lease in Denmark.
Beacon owns and manages a modern fleet of 190 locomotives, 944 freight wagons and 20 passenger train units. Beacon’s customers include many of the top freight operators in the UK (GB Railfreight, Freightliner and DRS) and leading locomotive and rolling stock operators throughout Europe and Scandinavia.
Commenting on the transaction, Ted Gaffney, CEO of Beacon, said: “The acquisition of Ascendos allows us to continue to build our portfolio of locomotives and is in line with our strategy and commitment to being a leader in this segment of the market. Ascendos’ portfolio of rolling stock nicely complements our existing fleet of locomotives and allows us to expand our presence into the European passenger train market. Overall, we believe that the portfolio and staff of Ascendos is a great fit for Beacon and is additive to our existing platform.”
Pamplona Capital Management (“Pamplona”) acquired Beacon in May 2014 through Pamplona Capital Partners III, LP, a 2011 vehicle with $2.7 billion of committed capital. Since closing, Beacon has been an active acquirer of assets through portfolio acquisitions, the placement of new build orders and the closing of sale / leaseback transactions with various freight and passenger operators, significantly increasing the scale of the portfolio and diversifying both the lessee and asset base.