Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is acquiring an approximately 50% stake in Italian high-speed rail operator Italo Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori from Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and co-investors for an unspecified amount.

GIP said the remaining interest in Italo will continue to be owned by GIP, Allianz Group entities and funds managed by Allianz Capital Partners, and other co-investors. GIP will have joint governance with MSC.

According to Italo’s website, the company’s current shareholders comprise GIP’s third global infrastructure fund GIP III with a 72.6% stake, Allianz Group entities and funds managed by Allianz Capital Partners with an 11.5% interest, Industriens Pension’s IP Infra Investors with a 7.6% interest and other co-investors holding the remaining stake.

Launched in 2012, Italo operates a fleet of 51 electric trains, connecting 51 cities across Italy and serving over 20m passengers per year.

Bayo Ogunlesi, GIP’s chairman and CEO, said: “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.”

Diego Aponte, group president of MSC, said: “This agreement demonstrates our long-standing commitment to Italy and support for exceptional high-speed passenger rail transport in Italy.”

“We strongly believe in the potential of Italo to further strengthen rail connectivity across Italy but also the Italian tourism market.”

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