May 9, 2018 / 3:47 PM / 4 months ago

I Squared Capital to buy trailer leasing firm TIP in deal topping $1.2 billion

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - British investor I Squared Capital said on Wednesday it has agreed to buy TIP Trailer Services, the trailer leasing company formerly owned by General Electric, from China’s HNA Group.

Terms were not disclosed, though a source familiar with the deal said it was worth more than 1 billion euros ($1.19 billion).

According to TIP’s annual report, the Amsterdam-headquartered company had sales of 517 million euros ($614 million) in 2017, and earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 180 million euros.

HNA bought TIP, which provides lorry trailers to logistics and transportation customers, from GE in 2013.

Adil Rahmathulla, a partner at I Squared, said the firm’s infrastructure fund ISQ, which will own TIP, intends to invest to further grow the business in the 17 countries where it already has strong operations, mostly in Western Europe and Canada.

“The European market has exhibited quite attractive growth in recent years,” he said.

The company’s top aims are to “defend our position in Europe and expand to North America primarily, but also other markets” including Eastern Europe, Rahmathulla said.

TIP has a fleet of 66,000 trailers and 86 trailer service centers, as maintaining and servicing the leased trailers is a significant part of its business.

Linklaters advised I Squared on the deal and EH Global Capital and CMS advised HNA.

($1 = 0.8423 euros)

Reporting by Toby Sterling, editing by Louise Heavens and Alexandra Hudson

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