I Squared Capital

I Squared combines trailer leasing operations

April 19, 2024
Infrastructure investment firm to merge newly rebranded Transportation Equipment Network with the Canadian subsidiary of TIP Group to consolidate its North American footprint.

Infrastructure investment firm I Squared Capital is combining its newly rebranded Transportation Equipment Network (TEN) with TIP Canada, the Canadian subsidiary of the Europe-based TIP Group, in a move it says creates the second largest full-service trailer lessor in North America, with 83,000 trailers.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, I Squared reported.

“This transaction is a win for our investors and our global transportation franchise,” Gautam Bhandari, I Squared chief investment officer, said in a news release. “Leveraging I Squared’s expertise in platform building, the combination streamlines TEN and TIP’s operating footprints, improves purchasing power, and clarifies strategic objectives. Trailers play a critical role in complex supply chain networks by meeting customers’ needs for operational and contractual flexibility.

“These are two leaders in their respective markets and combined they represent a very attractive prospect for infrastructure investors.”

I Squared announced April 5 it was combining portfolio companies Star Leasing Company, CTL (Commercial Trailer Leasing), Cooling Concepts, and NETS Leasing (North East Trailer Services) as TEN. The latest move allows TIP, which the firm acquired in August 2018, to streamline its portfolio, focus on its core European operation, and free up capital for growth opportunities in its home market, I Squared said.

“For TIP, this will mean a renewed focus on Europe, our home market,” TIP Group CEO Bob Fast said. “We greatly anticipate prospects for diversification and electrification of our fleet, alongside the expansion of our maintenance network to continue to serve our valued customers and align with our vision to be a leading equipment service provider.”

TIP Canada, a “leading player” in the Canadian trailer leasing and rental market, boasts approximately 28,000 units. The company has over 480 employees and 1,500 customers with diversified end-sector exposure, I Squared said. TIP Canada also operates 12 shop locations across Canada and 36 mobile service units providing coast-to-coast maintenance services to its own customers and third parties.

I Squared’s buildout of its trailer-leasing platform began in March 2021 with the acquisition of Star Leasing and subsequent acquisitions of Cooling Concepts (May 2022), NETS (July 2023), and CTL (September 2023). TEN has now more than quadrupled in size through organic growth and tuck-in acquisitions.

“While continuing to service the individual customer base, we see a great opportunity to service both Canadian customers that do business in the U.S., as well as U.S. customers that do business in Canada, providing them with value-added solutions to help them run their businesses more efficiently,” said Scott Nelson, TEN president. “Our expanded scope will allow greater access to equipment and expanded relationships with our supplier partners.”

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