London. 29 June 2017
- HF Holding SA, the holding company encompassing the Gantrex Group, has signed a Share Purchase Agreement in which it has acquired 100% of the shares of Gantrail International Limited, in an all-cash deal for an undisclosed amount.
With the merger of Gantrex and Gantrail into one holding company, the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Group aim to fortify its position in the market of industrial crane rail systems, and create substantial value for the Group in the long run. This transaction is considered as an important step in the Group's strategic 2020 business plan to grow revenue to 100 million EUR, with an EBITDA profitability of 12%.
The strategy moving forward is one of making 1 + 1 into 3, with the aim to grow top and bottom line of both companies, both individually and combined. Malcolm Trigg will continue as Managing Director of Gantrail International and will join the Group Executive Committee to represent the Gantrail side of the activity. All Operational Centers, both Gantrail's and Gantrex's will be managed by Alberto Beraza as Group COO, so to execute a number of synergies which have been identified.
Maarten Impens (Gantrex Group CEO):
"The merger of Gantrex and Gantrail is a true milestone in the Company history which I consider a solid foundation for our joint future. As the oldest crane rail company in the world, Gantrail is a well-respected name in the market with strong brand equity and a distinct customer base. Next year both companies will have a joint history of 100 years in the crane rail market, and it is our goal to leverage the abundance of experience which has been built to continue to innovate and create better products and services for our customers. I have worked closely with some of the management of Gantrail building up towards this transaction and personally look forward to working with the entire Gantrail team in the execution of strategic plans which have been drafted aimed at improving the overall profitability of the new Group."
Malcolm Trigg (Gantrail Managing Director)
commented: "Gantrail has a long and proud reputation as a driving force in the development of crane rail solutions worldwide. Continually focused on technical excellence and product performance, we have striven for over 50 years to offer an unparalleled level of technical and service performance to consultants, contractors and clients on major projects worldwide. With an exciting vision and road-map for innovation ahead, this union brings together what I consider to be the strongest technical forces in the market and I am extremely optimistic about the opportunities that this will deliver for our customers around the globe. The opportunities that this merger will unlock are tremendously exciting for everyone involved. The increased focus and investment we will now have on New Product Development will enable us to bring industry-changing innovation to the market much more quickly, which will help us meet the ongoing challenges and demands of our industry. I along with my colleagues now look ahead with a true sense of confidence and optimism.
With the acquisition, the Group will be able to:
• Accelerate top and bottom line growth by adding critical mass and scope to its global organization
• Leverage nearly 100 years of combined experience in R&D activities
o Combining benefits from technological development of both companies
o Boosting creativity of R&D teams working in a collaborative "learn-from-each-other" environment
o Ensuring future technological leadership of the Group
• Achieve operational economy of scale benefits
o in production of rail fastening systems
o in global sourcing of raw materials and key trading products
• Leverage IT infrastructure
o Significant investments are planned in IT infrastructure to create one global ERP and management reporting system
Founded in 1971, having its corporate headquarters in Belgium and regional headquarters in Singapore, China, Canada, USA, Germany, Spain, India and the UAE, Gantrex has a strong history in in production, distribution, installation and maintenance of high quality crane rail solutions. Its products are used in many different applications and end-markets including ports, shipyards, steel mills, aluminium smelters, railway depots and heavy industries. Gantrex offers its products and services across the world and operates four production sites in Belgium, Spain, Canada and China. The group realized a turnover of €85m in 2015 and employs approximately 300 people globally in 20 countries. In October 2015, Gantrex was acquired by Argos-Soditic, a pan-European investment fund with offices in Paris, Milan, Brussels, Frankfurt and Geneva.
Gantrail International was established in 1965 in Gloucester (UK) and has since expanded into a globally known and respected company with worldwide recognition for high quality systems design and installation of crane rails in all industrial and commercial applications. It operates out of office in UK, China and UAE and is further supported by a number of experienced local distributors active in key markets around the world, backed by a strong technical and commercial base in the UK. These strong relationships have led to the Company's involvement in a number of high profile global projects and its development as a true leader in the field of crane rail systems. . The Company employs approximately 30 people in 3 countries, and realized a turnover of £9m in 2015.