Stock - Abu Dhabi / UAE economy
GIP and ADIA beat out rival investment firms vying for VTG. Image Credit: Bloomberg

A consortium including Global Infrastructure Partners agreed to buy control of VTG AG in a deal valuing the German railcar lessor at about 7 billion euros ($7.4 billion) including debt.

GIP is partnering with sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority on the purchase, according to a statement on Wednesday. They will acquire a nearly 73 per cent holding in the Hamburg-based company from investors including Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners.

VTG owns more than 88,500 railcars, a portfolio that ranks as the largest privately owned fleet in Europe, according to Wednesday’s statement. Morgan Stanley Infrastructure bought VTG through a 2018 takeover bid valuing the company at about 1.5 billion euros.

GIP and ADIA beat out rival investment firms vying for VTG, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier. Late German entrepreneur Joachim Herz’s private foundation is selling its interest in VTG through the deal. Another investor in VTG, Canadian pension fund Omers, will keep its holding after the transaction, according to the statement.

Infrastructure has been among the busiest sectors for mergers and acquisitions this year. National Grid Plc agreed in March to sell 60 per cent of its gas transmission business to a consortium including Macquarie Group Ltd. The Benetton family and Blackstone Inc. offered to buy the Italian highway operator Atlantia SpA in April.

KKR & Co, GIP and Stonepeak Partners have jointly made a binding offer for a controlling stake in Deutsche Telekom AG’s towers unit, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month.

GIP and ADIA were advised by Deutsche Bank AG on the VTG acquisition, while Morgan Stanley Infrastructure worked with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Credit Agricole SA. Lazard Ltd. advised the Herz foundation.