NRC Group and VR Track join forces
Norway’s NRC Group and Finnish VR Track are joining forces to form the largest specialised rail infrastructure company in the Nordics, with strong capabilities across the entire value chain and leading positions in the attractive Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish markets. The combined group will have more than 2 450 employees and annual revenues of more than NOK 6 billion.
The new company will be formed when NRC Group, a private company headquartered in Oslo and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, acquires VR Track, which is a subsidiary of the Finnish state-owned railway operator VR Group. Both NRC Group and VR Track have a strong foothold in their respective home markets, and both have grown and expanded into Sweden.
“This is an important milestone in the history of our companies. In our industry, size matters. We will double in size and improve our competitive position, paving the way for further steady growth”, says Øivind Horpestad, who is CEO of NRC Group. He will continue in this role after the acquisition.
Transport infrastructure involving rail is crucial for modern societies to develop and thrive. All Nordic countries are investing heavily in new railways, metro and tram connections as part of their efforts to build more environmentally friendly and sustainable transportation systems. With a broader operational scope and synergies, the combined company will be in a favourable position to capitalise on these positive market trends.
“Our two companies are complementary in terms of market position, capacities and capabilities. We will offer design, construction, maintenance and environmental services across the entire value chain, including groundworks, track, security, electro, telecom and signalling systems, and exciting new opportunities will emerge. Furthermore, the combined company will further strengthen its focus on sustainability, social and governance issues.”, Horpestad explains.
Cultural and strategic match
“Both companies are based upon common Nordic values, where a sustainable and responsible approach to the way we solve our projects and how we act together with our clients, employees, investors and all other stakeholders, is high on our agendas”, says VR Group CEO Rolf Jansson.
After the transaction, VR Group will be the largest shareholder in NRC Group, holding approximately 18,3 percent of the shares in the company. VR Track will be renamed and rebranded in accordance with NRC Group standards.
From its Finnish roots, VR Track has grown to become a successful and efficient provider of services in the Finnish and Swedish markets. Joining NRC Group and forming an even bigger group is a logical next step. NRC Group, on its part, has demonstrated a remarkable ability to grow from literally zero in 2011 to a leading player in Norway and Sweden today.
“In VR Group we are highly enthusiastic about the prospects of becoming the largest shareholder of this great, combined company and we expect to take an active role in the continued development of the company, likely through board representation,” Rolf Jansson adds.
For VR Track’s operations in Finland and Sweden, the transaction will have no immediate and direct effect. In the longer run, exciting new opportunities for co-operation across country borders will emerge, and for key employees, new career opportunities may open. Utilisation of heavy and specialised machinery will also improve.
VR Track has extensive experience and track record related to maintenance projects, which will be particularly relevant for the combined company. VR Track’s capabilities within engineering and design will also add significant value for NRC Group and the combined company’s customers across the Nordic.
Nordea has acted as the financial advisor to VR Group in the transaction and Krogerus as the legal advisor to VR Group.
For more information about the transaction, please see the stock exchange release that is available on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
About NRC Group
NRC Group is a leading contractor within transport infrastructure in Norway and Sweden. The company is a supplier of all track-related infrastructure services, including groundwork, specialized track work, safety, electro, telecom – and signalling systems and environmental services. The company works within rail, metro, tram, harbors, roads and close related infrastructure.
NRC Group has experienced significant growth since its inception in 2011 and has a vision of becoming a leading entrepreneur within infrastructure in the Nordics. The company has 11 regional offices throughout Norway and Sweden and is headquartered at Lysaker, nearby Oslo. The group employs approximately 850 people and delivered a revenue of NOK 2.37 billion in 2017. NRC Group is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under ticker “NRC”. The company’s chief executive officer is Øivind Horpestad.
About VR Track
VR Track Oy is an engineering firm, construction company and maintenance provider specialized in infrastructure projects, as well as a major supplier of railway materials. In addition to Finland, we have operations in Sweden, as an infrastructure engineering company and builder and maintainer of railways. We currently employ more than 1,600 professionals who work in the various phases of the life cycle of infrastructure projects. In 2017, VR Track and its subsidiaries recorded net sales of EUR 302 million.