- EQOS Group purchases catenary line specialist Colas Rail Belgium
- External growth strategy is continued in another business area with high investment potential
- 150 new employees contribute lots of expertise in the construction of tracks and catenary lines
The EQOS Group, one of the leading service providers for technical infrastructures in Europe, continues its course of expansion with the acquisition of Colas Rail Belgium. With the acquisition of Colas Rail Belgium, the company strengthened its Railway Technology business unit. The current Belgian railway infrastructure business, which has so far focused on local transport, will now be expanded to include long-distance railway traffic thanks to the acquisition As a result, the new EQOS service offerings range from detailed planning, installation and construction to maintenance of catenary lines and tracks in local and long-distance traffic. Colas Rail Belgium specialises in the independent areas of catenary construction, which accounts for about 75% of the company’s business activities, and track construction. The company is particularly recognised for its expertise in on-site track welding.
In 2021, Colas Rail Belgium generated around EUR 23 million in revenue and currently has 150 employees.
Strengthening the core business in railway technology
EQOS CEO Eric Mendel, who has leveraged strategic acquisitions (as part of a buy-and-build strategy) to put the EQOS Group on a successful growth course in recent years, on the latest acquisition: “With this acquisition, we reach another important milestone in our more than 100-year history. Colas Rail Belgium gives us access to the long-distance transport sector in Belgium where rail routes are being converted and expanded in a climate-friendly way with investments worth billions. The company is a perfect match for our sustainable infrastructure portfolio, At the same time, this is the starting signal for our growth strategy in Railway Technology.” As a result, the EQOS Group gains access to the important target groups of long-distance railway infrastructure in the public sector in Belgium. The expansion fits perfectly into the already wide-ranging portfolio in the field of railway technology in the countries of Belgium, Germany and Austria.
In addition to the Belgian location for local transport in Maldegem, EQOS will continue to operate Colas Rail Belgium’s headquarters in Enghien, around 40 kilometres southwest of Brussels, for the long-distance transport business. In the future, the company will do business under the name of EQOS Energie Belgium SA. “Colas Rail Belgium has been working in railway construction since 1949. My management team and I are happy to continue our successful path under the umbrella of EQOS in order to continue to deliver excellent quality to our clients,” Erwin Gelaes, director general of Colas Rail Belgium, said about the acquisition. Carsten Kuhle, managing director of the Railway Technology business unit at EQOS Energie, sees advantages for clients: “Customers will benefit from even more flexibility thanks to our new Belgian organisation. The two divisions, local and long-distance traffic, strengthen each other mutually. Especially in times of a shortage of skilled workers, this is a big plus.” Moreover, as the new Belgian number one in the market, EQOS Energie is even more attractive as an employer. The Group continues to recruit expert staff in all countries and areas in the forward-looking field of railway technology.
“We are delighted about the addition of highly qualified, very experienced colleagues and welcome them all to the EQOS family,” Mendel concluded.