Finnish Freight Company Sells Russian Wagon Fleet

Finnish freight company Nurminen Logistics announced this week that it had sold its Russian wagon fleet of around 350 vehicles to TransLes, Finnish media outlet Arvopaperi has reported.

TransLes is part of Russia’s Rustranscom Group of freight companies. It is one of the largest wagon operators in the Russian forestry sector, working a fleet of more than 10 000 flat cars.

Nurminen Logistics said the transaction would have a ‘positive impact on cash flow’ of $8 million, and would not have a significant impact on its 2018 EBIT.

“The deal gives us an excellent opportunity to further grow and develop our business in Finland and in the Baltic region,” said Chairman Olli Pohjanvirta. He said that Nurminen Logistics was not withdrawing from the Russian market, where it would now operate with leased vehicles to provide import and export services under an asset-light model.

In early October, the company had announced that it was considering selling its Russian wagons. It said the country’s wagon market was strongly centred on the five largest companies, and the sale of its fleet at a time when limited supply and strong demand mean wagon prices are high would free up capital to enable it to focus on operations and freight forwarding. It also said the move would reduce risks related to the changing value of the Russian ruble.

TransLes CEO Alexey Barbariush said the deal was RTC’s first international M&A transaction outside of the CIS region and would add ‘high-quality fleet capacity and important geographic coverage of Russia’s northwest, Finland and Europe‘.