BLS Cargo acquires Crossrail
On 5th March 2019, BLS Cargo signed an agreement, giving the company a 100% shareholding in Belgian rail freight operator Crossrail. The acquisition strengthens BLS Cargo’s position on the North-South freight corridor and access to the Belgian ports.
Crossrail was previously owned by international logistics service provider Rhenus and operates in both Belgium and Germany as a railway undertaking. On 5th March 2019, Rhenus and BLS Cargo reached an agreement allowing BLS Cargo to acquire Crossrail’s entire shareholding, backdated with effect from 01.01.2019. The takeover is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
BLS Cargo generates around one third of its turnover with traffic flows starting or terminating in Belgium. BLS Cargo has already been working closely with Crossrail for two years, primarily for services running east of the Rhine through Germany, with Crossrail providing traction in Germany and Belgium on behalf of BLS Cargo.
BLS Cargo and Crossrail have similar lean company structures and both focus on traffic carried on the Belgium-Germany-Switzerland-Italy freight corridor. Crossrail currently employs around 180 staff and has a turnover of 70 mill. Euros. «As a freight corridor service provider, Crossrail is very similar to BLS Cargo, in addition to which we are a perfect match geographically» notes BLS Cargo CEO Dirk Stahl. The takeover enables BLS Cargo to secure long-term access to transport services in Belgium and Germany. «It means that we can further improve our position on the north-south corridor whilst safeguarding and expanding the important link to Belgium and the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge», states BLS Cargo CEO Dirk Stahl.