Freightliner buys Maersk’s European intermodal operator
Freightliner Group has acquired European intermodal services provider ERS Railways B.V. from Maersk Line.
The intemodal operator said the purchase of ERS supports its strategy of developing businesses in rail markets beyond its base market in the United Kingdom.
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed and is still subject to the necessary regulatory approvals.
Rotterdam-based ERS was started in 1994 as an intermodal rail freight operator and became licensed as a railway undertaking in 2002. Since then the company has developed into a strong European player within the continental as well as maritime hinterland markets.
ERS provides container transport 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 percent of boxXpress.de GmbH, the Germany-based railway undertaking being active in German maritime hinterland traffics.
Both Freightliner in the United Kingdom and ERS in continental Europe have been significant service providers to Maersk for more than 15 years and this relationship is strengthened by the long-term contract entered into between Maersk and ERS as part of the acquisition, Freightliner 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,” said Peter Maybury, chief executive of Freightliner Group, in a statement. “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, will continue to lead the business following the acquisition.
“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,” Schuhholz said.
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.”
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