05 September 2022

Amber Infrastructure Group (‘Amber’), the specialist international investment manager, has acquired Australia’s leading freight rail leasing business, Rail First Asset Management (‘Rail First’) as it continues to build its presence in the country.

Rail First is Australia’s leading provider of rolling stock solutions to the rail industry, owning the country’s third largest intermodal fleet of more than 1,300 locomotives and wagons. The only Australian manufacturer of rail wagons, Rail First provides a full-service offering including locomotive and wagon leasing and rolling stock maintenance.

Rail First complements Amber’s existing exposure to Australian transport infrastructure assets, including Reliance Rail and Gold Coast Light Rail, and leverages the company’s international rail expertise. Through its managed and advised funds, Amber owns and operates Poland’s largest independent locomotive leasing provider, Cargounit, and is a long-term investor in leading UK train leasing company, Angel Trains.

The Rail First acquisition is a joint venture with DIF Capital Partners.

Amber’s Head of Asia-Pacific, Vaughan Wallace, said: “Rail First is an exceptional addition to our growing portfolio of Australian core plus transport infrastructure assets, and represents our second investment in the transport sector this year. The established business has one of the largest rail fleets in the country, focused on intermodal freight transportation. It has long-term lease agreements with rail operators and is Australia’s only domestic manufacturer of intermodal rail wagons, providing the unique ability to meet individual customer requirements with a ‘build to lease’ offering.

“Under Anchorage’s ownership, Rail First has delivered strong growth over the past three years and we see a large pipeline of additional opportunities to create long-term value. The company is well placed to benefit from government-sponsored decarbonisation initiatives, which will continue to see more freight shift from road to rail. Rail First is already offering lower emissions locomotives with onboard fuel saving technologies to cater to increased customer demand for more sustainable transport options. These sustainability credentials align with Amber’s strict infrastructure investment criteria and award-winning approach to ESG.

“Amber is an experienced essential infrastructure operator and investor, and we remain focused on building our presence in the Australian market, leveraging the capability and expertise of our global platform. Our expertise in international rail freight provides us with deep insights into modernisation and expansion opportunities, as well as macro policy decision driving industry growth.”

Rail First CEO, Mark Kirkpatrick, said: “This new phase of growth for Rail First will allow us to expand our locomotive and wagon fleet to serve the current and future needs of existing and new customers.

“Partnering with Amber, an experienced infrastructure operator and investor, will bring a range of new and exciting opportunities for Rail First, its customers, suppliers, staff, and other stakeholders. It allows us to fast-track our unique build-to-lease roiling stock to further grow the Australian leasing market,” he said.

For further information:

     Jasmine Walters

 jasmine.walters@automicgroup.com.au                                                      
+61 466 322 325

Amber Infrastructure Group

Amber Infrastructure (‘Amber’) is a specialist international investment manager, focused on investment origination, asset management and fund management.  With approximately €5 billion in funds under management, Amber invests across eight funds and a number of managed accounts.

Amber’s core business focuses on sourcing, developing, advising, investing in and managing infrastructure assets across the public, transport, energy, digital and demographic infrastructure sectors that support the lives of people, homes and businesses internationally.

Amber is headquartered in London with offices in Europe, North America and Australia and manages over 150 investments. Amber employs over 160 infrastructure professionals globally.

 

 

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