Corporate News – 18. March 2021

Aves One sells entire sea container portfolio and focuses on “Rail” business

  • Aves One sells entire sea container portfolio to institutional investor for around USD 182,5 million
  • Non-cash exceptional write-downs of up to EUR 33.5 million expected
  • Sale generates liquidity of approximately USD 23.8 million for further Rail acquisitions
  • Jürgen Bauer to leave the Management Board with the completion of the strategic milestone

Hamburg, 18 March 2021 - Aves One AG, a strongly growing holder of long-life rail assets, has reached an important milestone in its strategic focus on the stable and profitable “Rail” business. As part of this decision, an asset purchase agreement for the sea container portfolio was signed with an entity controlled by funds and separate accounts managed by Oak Hill Advisors, an alternative investment company, for approximately USD 182.5 million. The transaction will be closed in the next few months. As part of the sale of the sea containers, non-cash exceptional write-downs of up to EUR 33.5 million will be incurred. As far as possible, these will be accounted for in the 2020 annual financial statements.

Strategic concentration on “Rail” business completed
With the closing of the transaction, the sea container segment will be completely discontinued and the Management Board will have thus successfully completed the transition to focus on the “Rail” business. With the completion of the container sale, Jürgen Bauer will leave the Management Board, but will remain associated with the company in an advisory capacity. In the future, the Management Board will comprise the two board members Tobias Aulich and Sven Meißner.

Tobias Aulich, Member of the Management Board of Aves One AG, commented: "With the sale of the sea containers, we are significantly strengthening our sustainable core business 'Rail' and setting the course for our further growth trajectory with increasing profitability. In addition, we will gain further financial stability from the sale of the more volatile container portfolio and the resulting elimination of exchange rate effects. With this step, the Company is finally completing the move to concentrate on sustainable rail freight transport. This is our core competence. The liquid funds of approximately USD 23.8 million generated in the company from the sale of the sea container portfolio together with the recently reported expansion of the warehouse facility of EUR 75.0 million puts us in the position to continue our growth trajectory uninterrupted in 2021."

Profitable “Rail” business’s share in the overall portfolio rises to approximately 95%
Despite delays in the delivery of new freight cars in 2020, a year marked by COVID-19, Aves One was able to invest EUR 90.8 million and thus successfully expanded its rail asset volume by 12%. The fleet has thus grown to more than 11,000 freight cars. The Rail segment has proved to be a stable business model, even in challenging times. Necessary fleet renewals in the market and Europe-wide legislative initiatives to further strengthen rail freight transport as part of the overall transport volume are the drivers of the strong growth expected in the next few years. In addition to the core business "Rail", the young and profitable swap bodies segment remains part of the portfolio with approximately 5% of the asset volume.

For the financial year 2021, Aves One assumes that the “Rail” business will continue to expand and plans revenues of more than EUR 100 million for the continuing operations of Rail and Swap Bodies (of which more than EUR 92 million from the Rail division; prior year Rail: approximately EUR 83 million). By concentrating on the “Rail” business, a further increase in the profitability of the Aves One Group is expected for 2021 and beyond.

In order to further drive growth in the “Rail” business and strengthen balance sheet ratios, the company continues to examine various financing options. This includes both equity measures and other participations by investors.

Jürgen Bauer to leave the Management Board
From 1 April 2021 onwards, the company will be managed by the Management Board members Tobias Aulich and Sven Meißner. Jürgen Bauer will leave the Management Board on 31 March 2021. He was previously operationally responsible for the Rail segment. This responsibility will be continued by his colleague on the Management Board Tobias Aulich, who, together with Jürgen Bauer, has driven the successful expansion of the “Rail” business in recent years.

"We would like to thank Jürgen Bauer for a successful and trust-based cooperation over many years. We wish him all the best for the future. Tobias Aulich and Sven Meißner, who have been with the company since 2013, will continue to successfully drive the development of Aves One," commented Ralf Wohltmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board.