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May 10, 2018

Private equity firm to buy trailer lessor TIP from Chinese owners

British private equity firm I Squared Capital has agreed to buy truck trailer lessor TIP from Chinese conglomerate HNA.

By Lorenzo Migliorato

Private equity firm I Squared Capital has agreed to buy truck trailer lessor TIP from Chinese conglomerate HNA.

The acquisition was made through one of I Squared’s infrastructure investment funds, for an undisclosed amount. In late April, the Wall Street Journal reported HNA was looking to sell the business for €1bn (£874m).

Amsterdam-based TIP has changed hands a number of times during its 50-year history. It was part of GE Capital from 1993 until the acquisition by HNA in 2013, as the Chinese conglomerate looked to complement its logistics business.

TIP is headed by Bob Fast, formely chief executive of GE Equipment Services. It provides trailer leasing, rental and related services across 16 European countries, as well as in Canada. It also operates the sale of own and third-party defleeted assets.

In 2017, TIP reported €517m in revenues, up 39% from the previous year, and €180m in gross earnings, up 71%. Around 42% of revenues came from leasing operations.

The lessor has acquired a number of European businesses over the course of last year. It set out plans for expansion to four new countries and a €1bn revenue target for 2020.

Adil Rahmathulla, partner at I Squared Capital, said: “Our investment in TIP is the result of a detailed review of global transportation opportunities that provide essential links while benefiting from macro-economic tailwinds.

“With strong market positions across Europe and a sizeable business in North America, TIP’s global reach is an excellent fit for I Squared Capital.”

TIP chief executive Fast added: “We believe that as an infrastructure investor that knows our sector well, I Squared Capital will be a strong long-term partner for us.

“Our business is well-positioned for growth in the transportation equipment leasing and maintenance services sector.”

New York-headquartered I Squared Capital was founded in 2012. Its portfolio includes a number of infrastructure and utilities company, as well as chassis lessor American Intermodal Management (AIM).

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