Last week, the Belgian railway freight company announced its acquisition of Independent Railways Partner’s railroad company (IRP). Arno Deursen, Lineas’ operating director of the Netherlands, does not rule out that more acquisitions will follow in the short term. In SpoorProTV broadcasts, he said the company is keeping its eyes open for growth opportunities.
“We are always looking for opportunities, whether through organic growth or through acquisitions. We will certainly grow in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe, especially in markets like France, Germany and the Netherlands,” says Dorsen. However, he has so far been unable to provide further details regarding the details and ongoing negotiations. However, in the short term, Lineas is more likely to look at partnerships than at acquisitions in countries like Romania, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
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The acquisition of IRP was also a step in European growth ambitions. “A move we’re very happy with,” says Dorsen. “With this acquisition we can better serve our customers.” Lineas has 33 employees in the Netherlands and three of its own locomotives in the port. With the acquisition, 35 employees and 12 locomotives will be added. The IRP office in Zwijndrecht will become Lineas’ headquarters in the Netherlands, with the company’s local branch initially operating from Antwerp.
Moreover, the IRP continues to operate as an independent entity, but with a different managing director, explains Deursen. “Where we can achieve great efficiency, we will of course look for cooperation in the process.” The current management of the IRP, consisting of Luc Peulen and Roland van Roosendaal, will remain in the coming months to ensure that integration with Lineas goes smoothly. Then they say goodbye to the company and the VRP subsidiary they founded in 2011.
Watch the interview with Arno Deursen here:
Nothing will change for corporate clients, says Dorsen. Service, structure and hotspots will remain the same, but IRP clients now have the option to connect to Lineas’ international Green Xpress network. Lineas recently expanded this network with connections to Vorarlberg and Poland, connecting a total of 23 destinations across Europe.
It also means that IRP and Lineas will continue to lease their personnel and locomotives to third parties, including the competition. “Collaboration can only make the sector stronger,” says Dorsen.
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