Financial News


DGAP-News: VTG Aktiengesellschaft: VTG takes over established rail freight car manufacturer Graaff

VTG Aktiengesellschaft / Acquisition

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Press release

VTG takes over established rail freight car manufacturer Graaff
• Securing scarce production capacity for high-value rail freight cars • Access to superior engineering design expertise and numerous approvals
Hamburg, 29 July 2008 – VTG Aktiengesellschaft (WKN: VTG999/ISIN: DE000VTG9999), Hamburg, is acquiring all the assets of the rail car manufacturing segment of the Graaff Group, Elze, thereby securing production capacity for its rail freight cars in Europe. The parties have agreed to keep confidential the purchase price for the insolvent manufacturer of rail freight cars. The takeover still must be approved by the German anti-trust office (Kartellamt).

'Through the acquisition of Graaff, we are expanding our business model by the activity of newbuilds for securing scarce production capacity to build special rail freight cars. Due to our existing experience in specificating and designing many different types of rail cars, we will be able to quickly integrate the newbuidling plant in Elze, near Hanover, into the VTG Group. This allows us to secure a substantial portion of our basic supplies with new special rail freight cars for additional organic growth, which is particularly significant in a booming rail logistics market. We expect to profit from synergy effects in procurement, especially in the purchase of components and parts for which we have developed new procurement strategies,' says CEO Dr. Heiko Fischer, explaining the advantages of the takeover.

The Graaff Group has been building special freight cars at the Elze site in Lower Saxony since 1914. Its products include, in particular, chemical tank cars with stainless steel tanks. At the same time, the company has superior engineering design expertise in the construction of chemical tank cars and holds numerous approvals. Combined with VTG’s existing experience regarding market requirements, this offers the promise of future innovations. The Elze workshop has a production capacity of approximately 300 rail freight cars per year. The rail car manufacturer was forced to file for insolvency in March of 2008, due to difficulties in handling a large order and the tight liquidity situation.

VTG is taking over the insolvency estate’s assets and will continue the company's focus on producing tank cars - particularly chemical tank cars – that are in high demand. As part of the VTG takeover, around 154 employees at the Elze plant will retain their jobs.

'We are convinced that we will be able to proceed profitably with rail freight tank car production after successfully reorganising the plant and procurement. We plan to more closely integrate engineering design, materials management and production. Although we will utilize a good part of Graaff’s production capacity ourselves, we also intend to supply existing and new customers in future. However, we are not planning to manufacture all the rail freight cars we need ourselves,' notes Jürgen Hüllen, VTG’s Director of Engineering and Procurement.

About VTG:
VTG Aktiengesellschaft is one of Europe’s leading rail logistics and wagon hire companies. With about 48,400 rail freight cars, VTG has Europe’s largest private wagon fleet. In addition to the hiring of rail freight cars, the Group offers global tank container transport and comprehensive multi-modal logistics services mainly around rail transport. With the combination of its three interrelated divisions Wagon Hire, Rail Logistics and Tank Container Logistics VTG offers its clients a high-performance platform for international transport of their freight. The Group has many years of experience and specific know-how in particular in the transport of liquid and sensitive goods. Its customers include numerous well-known companies from almost all industrial sectors such as, for example, chemicals, mineral oil, the automobile or paper industries. In the financial year 2007 VTG generated operating revenues of EUR 541.4 million and an operating result (EBITDA) of EUR 137.0 million. Via its subsidiaries and affiliates the company, which has its head office in Hamburg, is mainly present in Europe, Asia and North America. As at 31 March 2008 VTG employed 831 employees worldwide in consolidated companies. Since June 2007 VTG AG has been listed on the official Prime Standard market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (SCN: VTG999).

Press contact:
Bettina Fries
Telephone:  +49 (0) 211 430 79-70
Fax:   +49 (0) 211 430 79-79

Investor Relations:
Felix Zander
Telephone:  +49 (0) 40 23 54-1351
Fax:   +49 (0) 40 23 54-1350

Additional information:
29.07.2008  Financial News transmitted by DGAP

Language:     English
Issuer:       VTG Aktiengesellschaft
              Nagelsweg 34
              20097 Hamburg
Phone:        040 2354 0
Fax:          040 2354 1199
ISIN:         DE000VTG9999
WKN:          VTG999
Listed: Regulierter Markt in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Freiverkehr in Berlin, Hannover, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, München, Stuttgart  
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