Beacon Rail acquires Ascendos Rail Leasing from Pamplona

Beacon Rail Leasing, a Pan-European rolling stock lessor, has closed on the acquisition of Ascendos Rail Leasing, a European locomotive and rolling stock leasing company, having received clearance from the German competition authorities. 

The combined Beacon and Ascendos portfolio includes 225 locomotives and over 1,000 freight wagons on lease in the UK, Scandinavia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and Germany, 55 passenger train units on lease in the UK and Germany, 67 double decker coaches on lease in Denmark, and 13 sets of Mark 5 coaches which will be operated by TransPennine Express in the UK.

Commenting on the closing, Ted Gaffney, Chief Executive Officer of Beacon, says: “The closing on the acquisition of Ascendos marks the beginning of a new chapter for Beacon Rail. We are committed to providing quality, state of the art rolling stock to the UK and European freight and passenger markets and welcome the Ascendos employees to the Beacon family.”

Pamplona Capital Management (Pamplona) acquired Beacon in May 2014 through Pamplona Capital Partners III, a 2011 vehicle with USD2.7 billion of committed capital. Since closing, Beacon has been an active acquirer of assets through portfolio acquisitions, the placement of new build orders and the closing of sale / leaseback transactions with various freight and passenger operators, significantly increasing the scale of the portfolio and diversifying both the lessee and asset base. 

Committed debt financing for the transaction has been provided by ING Bank and Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch. Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and Lowenstein Sandler LLP acted as legal counsel for Beacon and Pamplona. Clifford Chance LLP acted as legal counsel for the lenders.