CTL Logistics acquired by Bridgepoint

CTL Logistics, Central and Eastern Europe’s leading private rail logistics company and one of the largest private rail operators in Europe, has been acquired from its founder, Jaroslaw Pawluk, by Bridgepoint for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 1992, CTL is organised around four core activities – rail transportation, freight forwarding, siding management and waste disposal – with a specific focus on coal and coke, fuels and oil, chemicals, construction materials and steel.

The company provides full service, tailor-made logistics solutions through its own asset base. This includes sidings with 660km of operated siding tracks, 176 locomotives, 4,828 wagons as well as strategically located terminals for land and water transport. It has over 2,500 employees and in 2006 had revenues of PLN 974 million (€249 million).

The rail freight market is a growing part of the land freight industry in Europe where annual growth rates in volume and value are predicted to exceed 4% and 5% per annum respectively for the next five years. Private new entrants, such as CTL, are gaining market share as they continue to invest in their infrastructure and are forecast to continue growing faster than the segment. The Polish rail freight market itself is the second largest in Europe thanks to the country’s dominant market position in coal production and its strategic position as an East-West rail corridor.

Khai Tan, partner responsible for Bridgepoint’s investment activities in Central and Eastern Europe, said that CTL had achieved growth rates in excess of its competitors and with further investment from Bridgepoint would be ready for further international growth, already evident in its successful non-stop cross-border service between Poland and Germany and its geographic footprint which covers some of the densest freight corridors in Europe.

“CTL’s home market in Poland is already forecast to grow strongly. From this base, there is the opportunity to go for international growth where the company can become the largest private player in the European rail freight sector. ” he added.

Founder Jaroslaw Pawluk remains at CTL Logistics as a significant minority shareholder and will join the company’s supervisory board so that the company will continue to benefit from his experience.

“I am proud to have built a leading private European rail logistics company. CTL is well positioned to continue its remarkable growth story, becoming a cornerstone for rail logistics in Poland and the East-West rail transport corridor.” he said.

Debt was provided by Commerzbank and ING. Advisers involved in this transaction included: for Bridgepoint – Rothschild (corporate finance), E&Y (financial/ tax due diligence), LEK (market), Clifford Chance (legal), Interfleet (technical), DTZ (property valuation), AON (insurance) and ERM (environmental); for the vendor – Credit Suisse (financial advisor), Weil, Gotshal and Nowakowski i Wspólnicy (legal), Igor Chalupec (strategy), Tigges Rechtsanwaelte (tax).

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