Brussels, 30th March 2015 – SNCB Logistics steps up its development with a capital increase. Argos Wityu joins SNCB in the share capital of SNCB Logistics
The Executive Board of SNCB has accepted the offer of Argos Wityu allowing them to subscribe to a capital increase. Upon completion of this deal, Argos Wityu will hold a 66.6% stake in SNCB Logistics.
The deal will help strengthen the financial resources of SNCB Logistics by a total of €70 million, of which €20 million originates from a capital increase by Argos Wityu and €50 million from external financing. In addition, SNCB will convert into capital the convertible subordinated loan of €25 million which it had made available to the company.
In 2014, SNCB Logistics, the leading Belgian rail freight operator, continued its recovery and achieved a consolidated turnover of €452 million and an EBITDA of €11 million.
Argos Wityu intends to support the company and its management in their efforts to develop new services and products, as well as in strengthening client relations. SNCB Logistics’ planned growth is based upon the following principles:
- Placing clients and their needs at the centre of developments. SNCB Logistics works closely with its Belgian and international clients in developing its services, especially single wagonload services. The company will continue to invest in the launch of new products demanded by its clients, including quick and direct rail connections. For this reason, SNCB Logistics recently launched Swiss Xpress between Belgium and Switzerland with further destinations to follow.
- Making rail freight transport attractive, easy and efficient. SNCB Logistics therefore intends to accelerate the ‘modal shift’, i.e. a more important role for railway within the freight transport market.
- Being a solid and dynamic company which, by having strengthened its autonomy and financial resources, is able to achieve its growth ambitions, supported by the skills and motivation of its workforce.
Gilles Mougenot, President of Argos Wityu Partners, declared: “Argos Wityu is delighted to support SNCB Logistics and to help it develop into a strong and independent player within the Belgian and European rail freight markets. The company has an experienced management team which has developed a clear and effective strategy that we will continue to pursue.”
Jo Cornu, CEO of SNCB, said: “I am happy that after 15 months of continuous effort, a solution has been found to strengthen the structure of SNCB Logistics. Argos Wityu is the strong partner that SNCB Logistics needs to continue its development in collaboration with its historical shareholder, SNCB. Close operational collaborations between SNCB and SNCB Logistics will be continued.”
Geert Pauwels, CEO of SNCB Logistics, is delighted: “This deal is very good news for our clients and our employees. The company has made great efforts over the past years. The confidence of a shareholder such as Argos Wityu confirms that we are on the right path. It is a strong signal for our clients: we will continue to develop our products, our services and our organisation.”
This agreement will be subject to the approval of the relevant authorities.
SNCB Logistics: Veerle Van Mierlo
Tel: + 32 472 92 02 29
SNCB: Bart Crols
Tel: + 32 491 72 45 17
Argos Wityu: Baudouin Velge
Tel: + 32 475 30 12 11
About SNCB Logistics (www.sncblogistics.be)
SNCB Logistics s.a. became operational as autonomous rail freight operator on 1 February 2011. SNCB Logistics develops rail solutions for companies and large industrial groups, operating block trains for conventional and intermodal loads and providing single wagon load transport throughout Europe. As one of the largest European private rail freight operators, SNCB Logistics has the ambition to speed up the modal shift towards rail. To that end, SNCB Logistics endeavours continuously to improve safety, quality, productivity, cost efficiency, as well as to optimize its service level and to develop a reliable, competitive and innovative product offering. The group, headquartered in Brussels, offers employment to about 1900 people, within SNCB Logistics and SNCB, and owns a fleet of about 200 locomotives and 7000 wagons. SNCB Logistics is responsible for rail production in Belgium and the surrounding countries, and calls on reliable partners for international rail transport where needed. Subsidiaries IFB, intermodal operator, Xpedys, largely integrated within SNCB Logistics, and OSR France, rail freight operator active in France, are part of the group.
About SNCB (www.SNCB.be)
SNCB is a Belgian public company which operates and commercializes both domestic and international rail passenger traffic. It also manages its own rolling stock. Furthermore, it operates a network of train stations and stops, including parking lots, bicycle lots and spaces to rent bicycles. It also looks after the security of its railway domain. It numbers some 22,000 employees.
About Argos Wityu (www.argos-soditic.com)
Created in 1989, Argos Wityu is an independent European Private Equity firm with offices in Milan, Paris, Geneva and Brussels. Argos Wityu focuses on management buy-outs, buy-ins, Bimbo, spin-off, in small and medium sized companies. The group of funds managed by the firm typically take majority stakes ranging from €10m to €60m in companies with revenues of €20m to €400m. Since its creation, Argos Wityu has carried out more than 60 transactions focusing on management buy-outs and buy-ins in small and medium companies. The firm has developed a track record of unusual, complex and off-market transactions where the firm’s combination of local presence and international experience is able to add value to the small and medium-sized businesses it invests in. The fund Argos Wityu VI (€400m) raised in 2011 has allowed the realization of 9 transactions as of today.