Arcapita makes $800m from sale of rail freight group

The Bahrain-based investment firm Arcapita has made US$800 million from the sale of the London-based rail freight operator Freightliner Group, the Sharia-compliant company said on Monday.

Arcapita sold Freightliner to Genesee & Wyoming, a US-based international owner and operator of short line and regional freight railroads, the firm said.

“The sale of Freightliner follows a series of other successful exits achieved in the US and the Middle East in recent months,” said Atif Abdulmalik, Arcapita’s chief executive. “We continue to focus on delivering a number of other significant exits within our global investment portfolio in the near term, while also working on closing new investment opportunities in the GCC region, US and Asia.”

Arcapita, which invests in private equity and real estate, has been making a number of exits since 2013, when it emerged from US bankruptcy under Chapter 11 rules.

The firm had filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2012 when a $1.1 billion Islamic loan was due.

In February, Arcapita exited Pods, a provider of portable storage and moving solutions for residential and business customers in North America through a sale to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for more than $1bn.

In January, it sold its 50 per cent stake in Qatar’s Lusail Golf Development to Qatar’s largest listed developer, Barwa Real Estate Company, for $1.4bn.

Separately, Bahrain’s Investcorp has agreed to acquire Nobel Learning, a provider of private school education in the US, it said on Monday.

Investcorp will buy the company from Leeds Equity Partners, a New York-based private equity group, the Bahrain-listed alternative investment firm said.

Investcorp did not provide a value for the deal.

Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat is a co-investor and partner on the deal.

Nobel Learning, established in 1984, operates a network of 176 schools across 18 US states educating about 25,000 pupils from preschool through to high school, employing about 5,000 teachers and staff.

The agreement to purchase Nobel Learning follows plans to acquire Spain’s Fritta, a specialist ceramics maker, and the purchase of a majority stake in Turkey’s Arvento Mobile Systems, a telematics company. Telematics is a interdisciplinary field encompassing telecommunications and vehicular technologies.

This year it has also bought, through its US-based real estate arm, a portfolio of residential properties for about $300m.

Last year it acquired Pro Unlimited, a US-based provider of workforce software and services and the specialist Italian retailer Dainese at an enterprise value of €130m (Dh518m).

Investcorp posted a 5 per cent increase in net income to $45.3m in the first half of last year.

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