Klesch wraps up container deal

Klesch & Company, the London-based private equity firm, and Jordan Company of New York, acquired Transamerica Maritime Containers for US$1.2bn. Transamerica is one of the world’s largest container companies. The business was sold by Transamerica Finance, a subsidiary of Aegon. Aegon acquired Transamerica Finance in 1999 for £9.7bn.

Jordan Company is the lead investor, but Klesch originated the approach to management. According to market sources, KKR and Hicks Muse Tate & Furst had also been looking at the business.

Gary Klesch, who worked on a string of restructurings in the 1990s including Eurotunnel, will become chairman of the new operating company, which has been renamed TAL International. He said the transaction would enable TMC to operate as a standalone company once again. Klesch & Co has made investments with a value of over €2bn and employs 11 investment professionals. Jordan Company has about US$2.5bn under management.

Containerised trade has seen continuous growth over the last 25 years and is expected to gain a growing portion of international trade transport in the years ahead. The industry is enjoying its strongest-ever demand conditions, with most operators reporting utilisation rates in excess of 90%. TMC operates under lease contracts through 20 offices and container depots in 45 countries.