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Beacon Rail to acquire Ascendos Rail Leasing

Beacon Rail Leasing (Beacon), a leading Pan-European rolling stock leasing company, is to acquire Ascendos Rail Leasing (Ascendos), a European locomotive and rolling stock leasing company.  

The completion of the transaction is subject to customary conditions, including clearance with the German competition authorities. The transaction is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2016.

Headquartered in Luxembourg, with additional offices in London and Munich, Ascendos’ current portfolio includes 35 locomotives and 100 freight wagons on lease in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, 35 passenger train units on lease in Germany, and 67 double decker coaches on lease in Denmark. 

Beacon owns a diverse portfolio of freight and passenger train rolling stock and leases these assets to operating companies in the UK and Continental Europe.  It owns and manages a modern fleet of 190 locomotives, 944 freight wagons and 20 passenger train units.  Beacon’s customers include many of the top freight operators in the UK and leading locomotive and rolling stock operators throughout Europe and Scandinavia. 

Commenting on the transaction, Ted Gaffney, Chief Executive Officer of Beacon, says: “The acquisition of Ascendos allows us to continue to build our portfolio of locomotives and is in line with our strategy and commitment to being a leader in this segment of the market.  Ascendos’ portfolio of rolling stock nicely complements our existing fleet of locomotives and allows us to expand our presence into the European passenger train market. Overall, we believe that the portfolio and staff of Ascendos is a great fit for Beacon and is additive to our existing platform.”

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.
Ascendos is currently owned by Everest Babcock & Brown Opportunities Fund, BBSFF EU Rail Lessor Limited (a subsidiary of Global Investments Limited listed on the Singapore Exchange) and BOSSAF Rail Limited. 

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