ITALY: Global Infrastructure Partners has entered into a binding agreement to sell an approximately 50% stake in open access high speed train operator Italo-Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori to Mediterranean Shipping Co.
The other approximately 50% stake will continue to be owned by New York based investor GIP, supported by various minority shareholders, including Allianz Group entities and other co-investors. GIP and MSC will share governance of NTV-Italo through a long-term strategic partnership.
Completion of the transaction announced on October 3 is subject to regulatory approval.
|Current Italo-NTV ownership
|72·6% GIP III Global Investment Partners
|7·7% Reinvesting shareholders
|7·6% IP Infra Investors
|Source: Italo-NTV corporate website
Italo launched services in 2012 when Italy was the first country to open its high speed rail market to competition. It now has 25 Alstom AGV and 26 Alstom Evo non-tilting Pendolino trainsets serving 51 destinations and carrying more than 20 million passengers/year. In May it acquired road transport operator Itabus which has a fleet of 100 coaches.
‘We are excited to partner with MSC, with whom we have a strong and productive strategic relationship, to continue to support Italo’s future growth’, said GIP Chairman & CEO Bayo Ogunlesi.
‘We are very pleased MSC shares our vision of Italo’s future, as high speed rail transportation is critical to meeting net zero targets and is aligned with GIP’s energy transition and decarbonisation strategies.’
MSC Group President Diego Aponte said ‘we strongly believe in the potential of Italo to further strengthen rail connectivity across Italy but also the Italian tourism market. Furthermore, today’s agreement also reflects our group’s goal of further developing sustainable modes of transport, for both passengers and cargo.’
Privately-owned MSC has a fleet of 760 vessels calling at 520 ports on more than 260 routes and carrying 23 million TEU/year.
In 2016 it acquired Portugal’s national rail freight operator CP Carga and branded it as Medway. The Medway business now operates in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Spain and Italy, and it owns rolling stock in Turkey and India.
In late 2022 MSC acquired Bolloré’s Sitarail, Camrail and Bénirail railway concessions in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Bénin and Niger. In September this year Spanish national operator RENFE selected MSC as strategic partner for the development of its freight business RENFE Mercancías.