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Rail First sold off in A$425m deal


Anchorage Capital Partners’ Australian rolling stock company Rail First Asset Management has been acquired by DIF Capital Partners and Amber Infrastructure. The deal valued Rail First at A$425 million (€291 million) at 11 times earnings multiples.

Over 1,300 locomotives and carriages are run by Rail First, which offers full-service, vertically integrated rolling stock leasing and maintenance solutions. In 2019, Anchorage paid about A$200 million to acquire what was once known as CF Asia Pacific.

“Under Anchorage ownership, Rail First has doubled contracted earnings within three years and materially increased contract tenor, setting the company up for further growth,” stated Rail First chairman and partner Beau Dixon.

According to Dixon, Rail First gave Anchorage the chance to enhance the performance of a non-core, underperforming business that had solid fundamentals and a clear path to customers.

The CEO of Rail First, Mark Kirkpatrick, expressed his “excitement” about working with Amber and DIF on the company’s upcoming phase of expansion. According to Vaughan Wallace, head of Asia-Pacific for Amber Infrastructure, Amber is a seasoned investor and operator of critical infrastructure with a focus on rail freight assets.

London-based Amber has a one-third stake in Reliance Rail, an NSW rolling stock PPP. It is a long-term investment in UK-based Angel Trains and the proprietor of Poland’s Cargounit.

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