LONDON / NEW YORK – Pamplona Capital Management (“Pamplona”) and J.P. Morgan Asset Management are pleased to announce the sale of Beacon Rail Leasing (“Beacon Rail”) to institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
Headquartered in Luxembourg with additional offices in London and Boston, Beacon Rail’s current portfolio includes 225 locomotives, over 1000 freight wagons, 55 passenger train units, 67 double decker coaches and 13 sets of five-car intercity carriages on lease in the UK, Germany, Denmark, France, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Austria, and the Netherlands.
Ted Gaffney, the CEO of Beacon Rail, will continue to lead the company, supported by the existing management team.
Commenting on the investment, Matt LeBlanc, Chief Investment Officer for OECD Infrastructure at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, stated: “We are very pleased to have completed the acquisition of Beacon Rail, a core transportation platform which provides investors with access to a diversified portfolio of rolling stock assets in the UK and continental Europe. The quality of the management team, relatively young fleet of assets and deep customer relationships provide an opportunity for growth and expansion.”
Commenting on the closing, Ted Gaffney said: “The closing on the acquisition of Beacon marks the beginning of a new chapter for Beacon Rail. We remain committed and are now extremely well positioned to continue to provide quality, state of the art rolling stock to the European and UK freight and passenger markets. The support and capital commitment offered to the company by a highly experienced global infrastructure investor will provide Beacon Rail with the opportunity to continue to grow its portfolio and expand its market reach. With the support of J.P. Morgan Asset Management and the long-term investors it represents, I am very confident that Beacon Rail can fulfill its strategic mission of being the leading provider of high quality rolling stock to the Pan European operator base.”
Robert G. Warden, Partner at Pamplona, said: “We are very pleased with the significant growth and enhanced profitability that Beacon has experienced over the last three years. During this period, Beacon added several new locomotive classes, expanded its offering to include passenger trains and opened an office in Luxembourg. The Company has invested in excess of €400 million in new equipment and platform acquisitions, and we believe that the business, under Ted’s leadership, is poised for accelerated expansion. A partnership with J.P. Morgan Asset Management brings global resources and a deep knowledge of infrastructure assets, which will help continue Beacon’s development as a leader in the UK and Continental European rail leasing industry.”
Pamplona acquired Beacon Rail from BTMU Capital Corporation in May 2014 for a consideration of approximately $450 million. Beacon Rail went on to acquire Ascendos Rail Leasing in June 2016, and entered into an agreement to supply rolling stock to First TransPennine Express Limited in May 2016. Beacon Rail was held in Pamplona’s Private Equity Fund III, which has total equity commitments of €2.0 billion and was raised in 2011.
Committed debt financing for the transaction has been provided by a syndicate of banks and institutional lenders. The financing was arranged by Credit Agricole Corporate Investment Bank who will act as Facility Agent with ING Bank NV acting as Security Trustee. Allen & Overy LLP acted as legal counsel for the lenders. Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and Lowenstein Sandler LLP acted as legal counsel for Beacon Rail and Pamplona.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management
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Temple Bar Advisory (PR advisor to Pamplona)
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About J.P. Morgan Asset Management
J.P. Morgan Asset Management is part of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and is a global asset management leader providing world-class investment solutions to clients. With US$1.8 trillion in assets under management (the Asset Management client funds of JPMorgan Chase & Co. as at 31 March 2017) and offices in 41 locations around the world, J.P. Morgan Asset Management offers global coverage with a strong local market presence, and leadership positions in most asset classes.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management is a trading name of JPMorgan Asset Management (UK) Limited Registered in England & Wales No. 1161446 Registered Office 25 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5JP. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
About Beacon Rail Leasing
Beacon Rail Leasing is a rolling stock leasing company headquartered in Luxembourg and focused on serving the European and UK markets. Beacon Rail has an industry leading management team with rail asset management expertise and capital markets experience, enabling it to effectively meet the equipment needs of its Pan European customer base. Please visit www.beaconrail.com for more information.
About Pamplona Capital Management
Pamplona Capital Management is a London, New York, and Boston-based specialist investment manager established in 2005 that provides an alternative investment platform across private equity, fund of hedge funds, and single-manager hedge fund investments. Pamplona Capital Management, LLP manages over $10 billion in assets across a number of funds for a variety of clients including public pension funds, international wealth managers, multinational corporations, family offices, and funds of hedge funds. Pamplona invests long-term capital across the capital structure of its portfolio companies in both public and private market situations. Please see www.pamplonafunds.com for further information.