Hector Rail is the largest private rail freight provider in Scandinavia and has a presence in Germany, Europe’s largest freight market.

Founded in 2004, it has a fleet of over 100 locomotives and more than 400 employees which transport essential goods and materials for commercial and industrial clients. It is one of only a few companies that runs rail freight between Sweden and Germany and has a long-standing, stable customer base with high barriers to entry.

The company plays an important role towards decarbonising the European economy as its almost entirely electrified fleet has a fraction of the carbon footprint of road, sea or air freight alternatives.

The Industry Partner difference

Ancala acquired Hector Rail in 2020 during a brief period when all other investors had shied away from transport investments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on extensive analysis, we formed a view on the resilience of the freight market which Hector Rail serves. We secured the investment on a bilateral basis through our Industry Partner approach which helped to identify and unlock the opportunity.

Expanding an environmentally friendly fleet

Since our investment, the business has strengthened its position as Scandinavia’s leading private rail freight provider and enhanced the company’s growing position in Germany. We have steered the business on its continuous growth trajectory, in particular by helping the business to invest in its electric, environmentally friendly fleet.

Shortly after acquisition we refinanced the business, introducing a capex facility that has allowed the business to deliver its value creation plan. Under Ancala’s leadership, the business has strengthened the senior management team.

We have been working closely with the business to improve the operational efficiency of its fleet and further reduce the carbon footprint of its activity. Since 2021, Hector Rail’s electric fleet is largely powered by renewable electricity. The business, supported by an Ancala Industry Partner, is also engaging policymakers to encourage further electrification of the railways and to advocate for the support of low-carbon rail transportation.