A consortium comprising Swiss Life Asset Managers and Vauban Infrastructure Partners funds has acquired freight car rental firm Wascosa Holding.

Swiss Life AM and Vauban have paid an undisclosed sum to buy the rail transport company from Philipp Müller and his family, including its operating group entities.

Wascosa, which is active in more than 20 countries in Europe, handles a fleet of more than 15,000 wagons. The railcars asset manager was founded in 1964 and headquartered in Lucerne, Switzerland.

The acquisition follows an earlier joint purchase by Swiss Life AM and Vauban of an 88% stake in the German rail wagons owner Aves One at the end of 2021.

The new owners said Wascosa will benefit from the “strong momentum and favourable market outlook” for European rail wagons and profit from Swiss Life Asset Managers’ and Vauban’s “professional expertise in the rail market and infrastructure experience”.

Müller, who has agreed to extend his tenure as Wascosa’s chairman of the board of directors said Vauban and Swiss Life AM’s long-term commitment, as well as ”their expertise in the financing of infrastructure projects”, will secure Wascosa’s position in the market as well as its future growth.

Christoph Bruguier, a senior investment director and partner at Vauban Infrastructure Partners, said: “With its leading industry position, strong brand recognition and growing business over the last decades, Wascosa is strategically positioned to contribute and benefit from the decarbonisation trends for freight transportation in Europe.”

Christoph Manser, the head of infrastructure equity international at Swiss Life Asset Managers, said: “The European rail sector represents an important part of our infrastructure portfolio and provides our investors with attractive investments with a focus on ESG.

”Wascosa is a highly innovative and leading pioneer in the industry. We are excited about the value creation opportunity Wascosa represents and look forward to working, alongside Vauban Infrastructure Partners, with all of its stakeholders to extend this history of success.”

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