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American Industrial Transport Expands Empire with Major SMBC Rail Assets Acquisition

American Industrial Transport Expands Empire with Major SMBC Rail Assets Acquisition
photo: AITX / Public domain/AITX tank car
22 / 12 / 2023

American Industrial Transport, Inc. (“AITX”), an affiliate of ITE Management L.P. (“ITE”), an investment firm specializing in industrial transportation assets and related infrastructure, announced that it has completed the acquisition of certain of the railcar assets and operations formerly owned by SMBC Rail Services LLC (“SMBC RS”).

American Industrial Transport is a full-service railcar provider to the industrial freight shipping market.  With such an acquisition, AITX adds a diversified fleet of over 50,000 railcars and welcomes new customers and new members to its expert rail industry team. 

This transaction bolsters American Industrial Transport’s position as a leading, integrated solution provider with complementary services spanning railcar leasing, fleet management, repair, maintenance,  technology, and other related services. American Industrial Transport and its affiliates have expanded its diversified leasing portfolio to nearly 120,000 railcars. Along with its North American repair network, AITX offers shippers and railroads the necessary expertise, capabilities, and services to keep their products and rail logistics on track. Its dedicated repair and maintenance network includes twenty owned and operated locations across full-service facilities, mobile services, onsite customer partnerships, and railcar storage. Over the last 18 months, American Industrial Transport has expanded this including new, state-of-the-art full-service tank car facilities at its Brookhaven, Mississippi facility. 

Michael McCarthy is named President of American Industrial Transport. Mr. McCarthy spent the last ten years building SMBC RS, running its commercial leasing and portfolio management business, and serving as the Chief Executive Officer for the last two years. Before that, Mr. McCarthy held senior roles at GE Rail Services and GATX.  

Texas Howard is named Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Howard has served as President for the last 15 months and has spearheaded a strong growth and capital investment cycle across leasing and repair. In this role,  Mr. Howard will oversee all US and European fleet and repair operations, engineering, quality assurance,  environmental health & safety, and human resources. 

“I am incredibly excited to join and help lead the American Industrial Transport team. It is a top organization with a focus on customer service, safety, and quality. As supply chains continue to become more dynamic, we hear from freight shippers that they want trusted partnerships with full-service leaders, like American Industrial Transport,” said Mr. McCarthy, President of American Industrial Transport.  “American Industrial Transport’s focus is to work with our customers to meet and exceed their goals, via  integrated scale and expertise across railcar leasing, logistics, repair services, and business transparency.” 

“No one in the industry has shown the conviction and commitment to investing in resources like AITX and its financial partner, ITE Management,” added Mr. Howard. “With these additions to our fleet, operations,  and leadership team, we are further positioning AITX for greater success by leveraging skills and experiences of the combined teams. Working alongside Michael and the rest of the AITX team, I could not  be more excited about our next chapter of continued growth.” 

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. served as lead financial advisor, Citi served as senior financial advisor, JP  Morgan, Goldman Sachs and RBC Capital Markets LLC also provided advisory services to ITE Management.  The acquisition financing is led by Bank of America as an administrative agent and supported by a group of arrangers and lenders including Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Royal Bank of Canada,  Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and Citi. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and Vedder Price LLP served as legal advisors to ITE Management.


Source: American Industrial Transport