On Monday 12 December, Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) (NYSE:GWR) announced that its subsidiary, GWI UK Acquisition Company Limited, has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of APM Terminals (a subsidiary of A P Møller-Maersk A/S) to purchase all of the issued share capital of Pentalver Transport Limited (Pentalver). The transaction is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the receipt of competition clearances and the finalisation of certain lease agreements, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.
Headquartered in Southampton, U.K., Pentalver operates off-dock container terminals (most under long-term lease) strategically placed at each of the four major seaports of Felixstowe, Southampton, London Gateway and Tilbury, as well as an inland terminal located at Cannock, in the U.K. Midlands, near many of the nation’s largest distribution centers. In addition to providing storage for loaded and empty containers on over 100 acres of land, Pentalver also operates a trucking haulage service with more than 150 trucks, primarily providing daily service between the seaports of Felixstowe and Southampton and its inland terminal at Cannock. Pentalver also provides services related to container maintenance and repair (including refrigerated containers) and is one of the largest sellers of new and used containers in the U.K.
Pentalver’s operations are complementary to those of G&W’s Freightliner subsidiary, which is the largest provider of maritime container transportation by rail in the UK. The logistics of maritime container transportation in the UK are highly competitive, whether by road, rail or short-sea, with a premium placed on timely, efficient and safe service. G&W expects that the Pentalver acquisition will enable G&W to (i) enhance its UK services by providing rail and road transportation solutions, as well as offering storage options at the ports and inland, and (ii) unlock efficiencies from shared services and enhanced asset utilisation from Pentalver’s trucking fleet and Freightliner’s existing fleet of approximately 250 trucks that currently provide local collection and delivery haulage from Freightliner’s inland terminals. With approximately 600 employees, Pentalver will continue to be run by its current Managing Director, Chris Lawrenson, and will operate as part of G&W’s U.K./Europe Region.
Jack Hellmann, President and Chief Executive Officer of G&W, commented, “The acquisition of Pentalver is an excellent strategic fit with our existing intermodal offering in the UK. With the advent of larger container ships and the growth of distribution centres in the Midlands and throughout the UK, our maritime intermodal customers are seeking greater service optionality, which includes not only rail and road transportation but also the ability to store, maintain and position containers. Amidst the dramatic changes that are structurally altering the global shipping industry, we are pleased to be enhancing our service capabilities to meet the long term needs of our intermodal customers in the UK.”
“In addition, we are excited to welcome Pentalver’s employees to G&W as we work together with our existing Freightliner subsidiaries to provide the safest, most reliable and efficient transportation services to the UK maritime intermodal market.”
Joe Nicklaus Nielsen, APM Terminals Vice President and Head of Port Investment said, “This divestment is in line with APM Terminals’ strategy to develop and optimise our portfolio of businesses. Pentalver is a successful business, and we are pleased to have found a new strong owner in Genesee & Wyoming. Together with existing management and the around 600 dedicated employees of Pentalver, Genesee & Wyoming is an excellent new owner that will provide the right platform for customers going forward.”