The infrastructure equity investment arm of M&GPrudential has acquired UK’s third-largest rail freight operator from EQT Infrastructure.

Infracapital, on behalf of the Infracapital Partners III Fund, is buying GB Railfreight from EQT Infrastructure portfolio company Hector Rail Group for an undisclosed sum.

GB Railfreight, which provides freight and non-freight haulage services, moves approximately 23% of the UK’s rail cargo and operates well above 1,000 trainloads a week. Its fleet comprises more than 150 locomotives and almost 1,500 wagons.

Founded in 1999, the company has a presence in several larger deep-sea ports in the UK, including Felixstowe, Southampton and London Gateway.

Thomas Crawley, transaction director at Infracapital, said: “GB Railfreight perfectly fits our mission of investing in essential infrastructure assets and businesses which are key to economic growth.

“The company’s high quality, modern fleet is ideally-positioned to capitalise on its strong position and further increase its share of the diverse, resilient and growing UK rail freight market.”

Martin Lennon, head of Infracapital, said: “This is an attractive fourth addition to our Infracapital Partners III portfolio.

”Infracapital has significant expertise in successfully managing transport assets and we look forward to working closely with GB Railfreight’s excellent management team to drive further sustainable growth in the years ahead.”

GB Railfreight was acquired by EQT Infrastructure II, through its existing portfolio company Hector Rail, in November 2016.

Anna Sundell, managing director at EQT Partners and investment advisor to EQT Infrastructure, said: “GB Railfreight has continued to grow and gain market share while continuing to foster a strong safety-oriented culture and best-in-class operations, ensuring that the company can deliver high-quality services to all its customers.

“Management and the entire GB Railfreight team have done a fantastic job. With the ever-increasing demand for environmentally friendly transport solutions, GB Railfreight continues to be very well positioned to continue on its strong trajectory under Infracapital’s ownership.”

Following the sale of GB Railfreight, the remaining part of Hector Rail now consists of Hector Rail with operations across Scandinavia and Hector Rail with operations in Germany.