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20 Сентября 2017

RLL Container Report - 20 September 2017

From: John Keir, Ross Learmont Ltd. Email: john.keir@telia.com Date: 20 September 2017

The fatted calf.

Prior to the sale of half of its shares, TransContainer announced a first half profit of Rbl 2.836 Billion, which is double that for the same period last year. As if that was not incentive enough to attract additional bidders, the government selected this moment to donate to the intermodal rail operator a 30% share in Freight Village Kaluga North. Coincidentally, TransContainer had been looking around for a suitable location in the Moscow Region for a modern terminal facility close to one or more industrial parks. TransContainer paid just one Rouble for this asset. Truly, indeed, the sun always shines on the righteous.

For its part, Globaltrans announced it would not be making a cash offer but at the same time expressed interest in a Merger and Acquisition deal for TransContainer’s rail platform wagons and its fleet of ISO Tank Containers. There is, in fact, much to commend the sell-off of this container subsidiary, which belongs very much to a specialist sector that would be of far greater interest to a major player in that particular market niche. For example, an operator such as Globaltrans better understands how to value these specialist assets, while a general container operator would probably want to dispose as soon as possible of these assets, which have many kilometres under their belt.

At the same time, several potential investors would be very interested in acquiring TransContainer’s property portfolio. Currently, TransContainer owns 42 terminals dotted around major production centres in the Russian Federation plus another 19, which are operated in conjunction with its Kazakh partners, Kedentransservice. In addition, there is the politically sensitive asset in the form of terminal Dobra, located on the border between Ukraine and Slovakia, which is well located to exploit additional growth in cross-border traffic between the CIS and the European Union.

Most importantly, TransContainers is not merely the biggest container owner and operator of intermodal rolling stock in the Russian Federation, with its fleet of 64,500 ISO containers and 24,000 rail container platforms. It is also the biggest intermodal operator in the whole of the former Soviet Union. TransContainer is the “missing link” binding Western Europe with countries ranging from the Koreas and China to Iran, via RZD’s controlling share in Armenian Railways. Also, TransContainer is well entrenched in the transport infrastructure of four EU countries, which share the broad-gauge network. However, the prospective owner may want to refresh and expand the ISO container fleet. Changing the company name would allow the new owners to operate both a domestic as well as an international fleet.

John Keir, Ross Learmont Ltd.
20 September 2017

Copyright ©, 2017, John Keir

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