On September 30th 2022, EQOS Group (“EQOS”), a portfolio company of private equity firm Triton Partners (“Triton”), completed the acquisition of Colas Rail Belgium (“CRB”) from Colas.
EQOS was founded in 1920 and acquired by Triton in 2014. EQOS is a leading provider of construction, maintenance and installation services for critical infrastructure, holding a top three market position in all of its markets and applications. The Group is organised in the two brands EQOS Energie and EQOS Kommunikation and specialises in Energy Technology, Overhead Lines, Railway Technology and Communication Technology. EQOS operates in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, France and Belgium. With its two business segments, EQOS has more than 40 locations and about 1,700 employees expecting revenues of around EUR 360m in 2022.
CRB is headquartered in Enghien, Belgium, and operates as a contractor in railway works since 1949. The former subsidiary of French civil engineering firm Colas (part of French industrial group Bouygues) focuses on the areas of catenary and track construction for long-distance railway infrastructure. With around 150 employees CRB generated revenues of EUR 23m in 2021.
With the acquisition of CRB, that will in future operate under the name of EQOS Energie Belgium, EQOS continues its successful expansion course thereby strengthening its Railway Technology business unit.
Eric Mendel, CEO of EQOS Group recognises this acquisition as “another important milestone in our more than 100-year history. Colas Rail Belgium gives us access to the long-distance transport sector in Belgium where rail routes are being converted and expanded in a climate-friendly way with investments worth billions. The company is a perfect match for our sustainable infrastructure portfolio, at the same time, this is the starting signal for our growth strategy in Railway Technology.”
Carsten Kuhle, Managing Director of the Railway Technology business unit adds: “Customers will benefit from even more flexibility thanks to our new Belgian organisation. The two divisions, local and long-distance traffic, strengthen each other mutually. Especially in times of a shortage of skilled workers, this is a big plus.”
Erwin Gelaes, general director of CRB is looking forward to joining EQOS Group: “Colas Rail Belgium has been working in railway construction since 1949. My management team and I are happy to continue our successful path under the umbrella of EQOS in order to continue to deliver excellent quality to our clients.”
Marcus Bär, Managing Partner of CASE Corporate Finance commented: “It was a pleasure to support EQOS and Triton on this important transaction. This marks our second transaction with EQOS within a year and demonstrates that we can provide our extensive expertise in infrastructure services in challenging cross-border transactions like this.”
Alongside CASE Corporate Finance, EQOS was assisted by Monard Law as legal adviser, PwC as accounting adviser and KPMG as tax adviser.