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CHEP boxed up and sold

SYDNEY: November 02, 2016. Brambles, the ULD management company, is to sell its CHEP Aerospace Solutions business to private fund manager EQT Infrastructure II for a net price of US$125 million. The deal is expected to complete this month.

Formed in 2011, CHEP is a leader in ULD pooling, management and maintenance for the airline industry. The business owns approximately 100,000 ULDs and supports more than 90 airlines across a network of 48 global service centers and 420 airports.

Chep BramblesBrambles said the divestment would have no impact on the company's expected results for fiscal year 2017 of an underlying profit between US$1.05 billion and US$1.07 billion.

Commenting on the sale, Brambles chairman Tom Gorman explained the setting up CHEP was part of a strategy to leverage the company's asset management and supply chain expertise in new industries. He said the reason to divest was the result of a continued focus "aimed at allocating capital more effectively and optimizing the strategic fit of businesses within our portfolio to ensure we address customer needs and deliver long-term value to shareholders".

In thanking the CHEP team "for their commitment to becoming the industry-leaders they are today," Gorman said he believed the new owners would provide the continued financial and operational strength to enable CHEP to capitalize on future growth opportunities.

Ulrich Köllensperger, EQT Partners director added: "CHEP Aerospace Solutions fits well with the EQT Infrastructure strategy of investing in medium sized operating infrastructure companies with opportunities for additional growth and development." This will include a rebranding "at an appropriate time," according to a statement.

EQT is a global private equity group with capital of €30 billion and annual sales of €15 billion from companies in Europe, Asia and the U.S.

Last month it announced the proposed purchase for an undisclosed sum of GB Railfreight, the UK's third largest rail freight operator, from Groupe Eurotunnel. EQT said it will integrate GB Railfreight into its Swedish subsidiary Hector Rail as part of a goal to develop a pan-European rail network. Hector Rail provides rail traction services throughout Scandinavia and Germany.

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