AMP Capital to increase train leasing stake

The Australian fund manager is to take an extra interest of almost 6% in Alpha Trains as the rolling stock sector remains in the spotlight.

AMP Capital, the Sydney-based fund manager, has increased its stake in Alpha Trains from 15 percent to 20.9 percent.

Headquartered in Luxembourg, Alpha Trains is continental Europe’s largest independent train leasing business with 370 locomotives and 300 passenger trains which are leased to public and private operators in a dozen countries around Europe. The portfolio is managed by a team of 70 in offices in Antwerp, Cologne and Luxembourg.

“Rail transportation is an important sector for us in Europe because of its growth potential,” said Boe Pahari, AMP Capital’s head of infrastructure for Europe and the Americas, in a statement. “During the past 12 months, we have witnessed increasing market activity in the European train leasing market making AMP Capital an early mover in this attractive investment sector.”

He added: “As the European Union supports increasing competition within the industry, we expect to see further opportunities opening up for private train operators and train leasing companies.”

The rail rolling stock sector has seen a clutch of recent deals. In March, US fund manager Kohlberg Kravis Roberts invested in Austrian/German train leasing business European Locomotive Leasing in a deal worth around €200 million. Then, in early April, Netherlands fund manager DIF teamed with Hamburg’s Paribus Capital on a €140 million rolling stock project with the state of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany.

Earlier this month, UK fund manager Pamplona Capital Management acquired the UK’s Beacon Rail from a subsidiary of Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ in a $450 million deal. This was followed shortly after by the news that a consortium of private investors were considering selling their stakes in Porterbrook, the UK leasing firm that was acquired in a £2 billion deal in 2008.