BRANDON, MB, July 20, 2022 /CNW/ – TorQuest Partners (“TorQuest”) and Alberta Investment Management Corporation, on behalf of certain of its clients (“AIMCo”) announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement providing for the acquisition by AIMCo of a 100% interest in Cando-Rail & Terminals Ltd. (“Cando” or “the Company”), one of North America largest owners and operators of first and last mile rail infrastructure.
Cando, founded in 1978 and based in Brandon, MB, serves as a critical and integrated link in the rail supply chain, connecting large industrial shippers to the Class I rail network. The Company operates an interconnected network of more than 40 industrial yards, nine owned terminals and a shortline iron. This network, along with more than 900 employees and more than 100 locomotives, enables Cando to deliver significant benefits to customer shippers and Class I partners. base, has more than 400 active employee shareholders, who collectively hold 25% of the company. There will be no change in the operations or management of the company as a result of the transaction, and Cando remains committed to investing in its rail infrastructure to improve customer service.
Since 2018, TorQuest and Cando management have overseen a dramatic transformation of the company. On an organic basis, revenue more than doubled and EBITDA more than tripled. This growth has been enabled by significant capital investments, in support of the Company’s shipper-customers and Class I partners, to develop Company-owned rail infrastructure. By developing its own network of rail terminals, today more than 60% of the company’s EBITDA comes from owned assets, compared to less than 40% before TorQuest’s investment. To support these asset additions, the company had to invest significantly in its people and resources, adding more than 400 new employees during this period, many of whom also became shareholders of the company.
AIMCo is a global infrastructure investor with significant experience in the transportation sector, including as part of a consortium of institutional investors that acquired the Porterbrook group of companies in October 2014. Porterbrook has been a stable feature of the UK rail network for over 25 years as the owner of almost a third of Great Britain rolling stock. With the support of AIMCo, Porterbrook has become a recognized leader in innovation and sustainable rail practices, embracing technologies that will reduce nitrous oxide and hydrocarbon emissions, while partnering to develop the technologies to low carbon emissions of tomorrow such as HydroFLEX, the first hydrogen-powered trains.
“Cando is the kind of platform investment that has become a hallmark of AIMCo’s infrastructure portfolio. With this investment, our customers add one of the from Canada best performing rail platforms to their infrastructure portfolios,” said Ben HawkinsHead of Infrastructure, Renewable Energy and Sustainable Investing at AIMCo, “We believe in Cando’s incredible potential and look forward to working with their exceptional leadership to achieve a continued track record of growth.
“Our investment in Can do exemplifies TorQuest’s strategy of partnering with great people and investing in our businesses to achieve exciting results,” said Jonathan Fraser, Partner at TorQuest. “Cando is a wonderful company, with great people, and it was a pleasure for us to partner with Brian Cornick, Steve Bromley, and all employees and employee shareholders of Cando. We have seen the positive impact that employee ownership can have on the performance and culture of the company. A sincere thank you to every member of the Cando team for helping to achieve a great outcome for TorQuest and our limited partners in Fund IV.”
Brian CornickPresident and CEO of Cando, said, “TorQuest has been a great partner for us. Their commitment to investing in our business and our people has provided Cando with an exceptional platform for continued growth and success. We are delighted with the success of our partnership. with TorQuest and excited about the next chapter in our business evolution in partnership with AIMCo. We look forward to continuing to support our customers and to benefit from AIMCo’s considerable experience, relationships and resources.
The transaction, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, is expected to close in late third or fourth quarter 2022. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Wells Fargo Securities, LLC acted as lead financial advisor to Cando and TorQuest, and Northborne Partners, LLC also acted as financial advisor. Torys LLP and MLT Aikins LLP acted as legal counsel to Cando and TorQuest.
RBC Capital Markets acted as exclusive financial advisor to AIMCo on the transaction. Stikeman Elliott LLP, Mayer Brown LLP and Fletcher & Sippel LLC acted as legal advisors to AIMCo.
About TorQuest Partners
Founded in 2002, TorQuest Partners is a Canadian private equity fund manager. With over C$3.5 billion in equity under management, TorQuest currently invests from TorQuest Partners Fund V, a 1.4 billion Canadian dollars fund that closed in March 2020. TorQuest invests in middle market companies and works closely with management to create value. To learn more about TorQuest, visit www.torquest.com
About Alberta Investment Management Corporation
AIMCo is one of from Canada largest and most diversified institutional investment managers with $168.3 billion of assets under management at December 31, 2021. AIMCo was created on January 1, 2008, whose mandate is to provide its clients with superior long-term investment results. AIMCo operates independently from the Government of alberta and invests globally on behalf of 32 pension, endowment and government funds in the province of alberta.
For more information about AIMCo, please visit www.aimco.ca or follow us on LinkedIn.
About Cando-Rail & Terminals
Cando-Rail & Eastern Terminals from Canada leading provider of specialized railroad operations services that enable industrial shippers to optimize their supply chains and connect to Class 1 railroads by leveraging Cando’s operations capabilities and multi-purpose rail terminal network . The company provides a wide range of rail services, including branch line operations, industrial switching, material handling, terminal and transshipment services, car staging, train assembly and related services. Fully integrated into their customers’ supply chain, Cando Rail & Terminals ensures that their customers’ products get where they need them, when they want them.
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