The Caisse in “exclusive negotiations” to acquire a subsidiary of the SNCF

La Caisse in «exclusive negotiations» to acquire a subsidiary of SNCF

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The Caisse de depot et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is in the midst of discussions with a view to acquiring a subsidiary of the Société nationale des chemins de fer français (SNCF).&nbsp ;

“Exclusive negotiations” following a competitive auction process are underway between SNCF, the asset manager DWS and the CDPQ, concerning the sale of the Akiem group, considered the leader in rental and maintenance of locomotives in Europe.

“The CDPQ's offer is subject to the usual information/consultation procedures with the competent staff representative bodies within the SNCF Group and Akiem,” reads a statement released by the CDPQ on Monday. In addition, the completion of this operation should in particular be subject to the authorization of certain competition authorities”.

“CDPQ is delighted to acquire Akiem, a leading European rail player, and looks forward to working with its team to take the company into the next phase of its growth,” said Emmanuel Jaclot, Senior Vice-President and Head of Infrastructure at the CDPQ. (…) With three-quarters of its fleet already running on electricity, Akiem offers a sustainable response to the challenges of decarbonizing transport — a solution that appealed to us from the start.”

< strong>Debt reduction for SNCF

Laurent Trevisani, Deputy Managing Director Strategy and Finance of the SNCF Group, for his part declared that this operation would allow, once the definitive agreements have been concluded, to participate in the financing SNCF's “core activities” and the Group's growth drivers, while accelerating its debt reduction.

“It would also be a question of backing Akiem with a long-term partner, able to ensure the sustainability of the activity of this company which would remain a commercial partner of SNCF”, he added.

In 2021, Akiem recorded a turnover of nearly 220 million euros and earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITDA) of around 150 million euros. The company has a fleet of over 600 locomotives, 46 passenger trains and approximately 250 employees. Its head office is located in France and the group has seven international offices.