DWS, SNCF begin exclusive talks with CPDQ over proposed sale of Akiem

Akiem shareholders agreed to enter exclusive negotiations with CDPQ over the proposed sale of the company following an auction process.

  • CDPQ plans to aid Akiem through its next stage of growth
  • Akiem is a French provider of freight locomotive leasing services
  • Three quarters of the company’s fleet operates on electricity 

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) this week announced that it has entered exclusive negotiations with Akiem shareholders SNCF and DWS over the proposed purchase of the company.

Akiem is a French provider of freight locomotive leasing services headquartered in Saint Ouen. It had revenues of €200 million and an EBITDA of around €150 million as of 2021.

CDPQ invests to generate sustainable returns over the long term on behalf of public pension and insurance plans in Quebec.

Three quarters of Akiem’s fleet operates on electricity which aligns with CDPQ’s stated ambition to achieve a net-zero portfolio by 2050. In 2021, CDPQ announced several commitments including but not limited to holding C$54 billion in green assets by 2025, achieving a 60 percent reduction in the carbon intensity of the total portfolio by 2030 and completing its exit from oil production by the end of 2022.

“CDPQ is thrilled to acquire Akiem, a major European player in the rail sector, and is looking forward to working with its team to bring the company to the next stage of its growth,” said Emmanuel Jaclot, executive vice-president and head of infrastructure at CDPQ. “Akiem’s size and positioning across the entire value chain, including maintenance, give it a significant competitive edge to benefit from the expected growth in the locomotive leasing market across Europe. With three quarters of its fleet already operating on electricity, Akiem offers a sustainable response to the challenges of decarbonizing transport – a solution that appealed to us from the start.”

DWS Group is a German asset manager headquartered in Frankfurt. It has €123 billion of assets under management allocated to alternative investments, with 1 percent of that allocated to private equity.

“Since becoming a shareholder of Akiem in 2016, DWS has supported management’s strategic growth ambitions through its active asset management approach combined with the rail expertise of its partner, SNCF,” said Hamish Mackenzie, head of infrastructure at DWS. “Akiem’s success during our investment reflects the quality of its management team and their unrivaled track record in the European locomotive leasing market, as well as the quality of our long-term partnership with SNCF.”

SNCF is the national state-owned railway company of France.