Freightliner Group is pleased to announce the acquisition, subject to necessary approvals and compliance with applicable laws, of leading European intermodal rail operator and railway undertaking ERS Railways B.V. from Maersk Line. The acquisition of ERS Railways supports Freightliner’s strategy of developing businesses in rail markets globally, in partnership with strong local management teams.
Rotterdam-headquartered ERS was founded in 1994 as an intermodal rail freight operator and became licensed as a railway undertaking in 2002. Since then ERS Railways has developed into a strong European player within the continental, as well as maritime hinterland markets, continuing to focus on developing and expanding its intermodal services. ERS Railways provides maritime hinterland services from key European ports including Rotterdam, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Lübeck and Rostock as well as continental European rail services for intermodal operators and forwarders. Corridors served run through continental Europe to various destinations in Italy, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic. ERS owns 47% of boxXpress.de GmbH, the Germany-based railway undertaking being active in German maritime hinterland traffics.
Both Freightliner in the UK and ERS in continental Europe have been significant service providers to Maersk Line for more than fifteen years and this relationship is strengthened further by the long-term contract entered into between Maersk Line and ERS Railways as part of the acquisition.
Announcing the acquisition, Peter Maybury, Chief Executive of Freightliner Group, said: “The acquisition of ERS is a very good fit with our growth strategy and further extends our profitable footprint, following our successful entry into the Polish and German bulk haul markets over the last seven years and our entry into Australia in 2009. The business has a strong management team who share our service-led approach, and we look forward to supporting them as ERS continues to grow its continental European intermodal services.”
Frank Schuhholz, Managing Director of ERS Railways who will continue to lead the business following the acquisition, said: “ERS Railways has successfully proven to be an important player on the European intermodal railway markets. We are welcoming Freightliner Group as our new shareholder who allows us not only to foster our strong relationship with Maersk Line in the long term but also to expand into new markets which creates value for our customers and our new shareholder.”
Confirming the sale, Soren Toft, Vice President from Maersk Line said: “This new set-up provides us with the opportunity to continue our long term contractual relationship with both companies as well as to develop our key European markets. I am confident that Freightliner is a good owner of ERS Railways, while Maersk Line can focus even stronger on developing our current and future deep sea liner network in Europe and other parts of the world.”
Financial details of the transaction will not be disclosed.