Under an agreement signed on 5th March, BLS Cargo will become the owner of Crossrail, the Belgian rail freight operator.
Previously, Crossrail was owned by the international logistics service provider Rhenus and operates in both Belgium and Germany as a railway undertaking. Rhenus and BLS Cargo reached an agreement allowing BLS Cargo to acquire Crossrail’s entire shareholding, backdated with effect from January 1st. The takeover is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
As the takeover enables BLS Cargo to secure long-term access to transport services in Belgium and Germany, “it means that BLS Cargo 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, “BLS Cargo CEO Dirk Stahl said.
The acquisition strengthens BLS Cargo’s position on the North-South freight corridor and access to the Belgian ports.
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.
BLS Cargo and Crossrail have similar lean company structures and both focus on traffic carried on the Belgium-Germany-Switzerland-Italy freight corridor.
Crossrail currently employs around 180 staff and has a turnover of EUR 70 million.