BLS Cargo strengthens its position in Europe with Crossrail acquisition
Posted: 8 March 2019 | Global Railway Review | No comments yet
BLS Cargo has signed an agreement giving the company a 100 per cent shareholding in Belgian rail freight operator, Crossrail. This acquisition strengthens BLS Cargo’s position on the North–South freight corridor and access to the Belgian ports.
Crossrail was previously owned by international logistics service provider Rhenus and operates in both Belgium and Germany as a railway undertaking. On 5 March 2019, Rhenus and BLS Cargo reached an agreement allowing BLS Cargo to acquire Crossrail’s entire shareholding, backdated with effect from 2 January 2019. The takeover is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities. The parties have agreed not disclosed the purchase price.
BLS Cargo generates approximately one third of its turnover with traffic flows starting or terminating in Belgium. BLS Cargo has already been working closely with Crossrail for two years, primarily for services running east of the Rhine through Germany, with Crossrail providing traction in Germany and Belgium on behalf of BLS Cargo.
Both BLS Cargo and Crossrail focus on traffic carried on the Belgium–Germany–Switzerland–Italy freight corridor. Crossrail currently employs approximately 180 staff and has a turnover of €70 million. The takeover enables BLS Cargo to secure long-term access to transport services in Belgium and Germany.
BLS Cargo CEO Dirk Stahl, said: “As a freight corridor service provider, Crossrail is very similar to BLS Cargo, in addition to which we are a perfect match geographically. [This acquisition] means that we can further improve our position on the north–south corridor whilst safeguarding and expanding the important link to Belgium and the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge.”