Fortress puts TRAC Intermodal up for sale

Fortress puts TRAC Intermodal up for sale

TRAC Intermodal, the largest lessor of intermodal chassis, is being offered for sale by Fortress Investment Group, the private equity company that acquired the company seven years ago.

The sale plan was first reported by Reuters, and was confirmed by persons familiar with it. The company could be valued at more than $1.7 billion, including debt, Reuters reported.

Investment bank Morgan Stanley is handling the open market sale process that includes letters of intent, providing of information, bidding, discussions and an eventual sale. The process is expected to take three to four months.

Fortress took the company private in 2007 for $2.4 billion, including the assumption of debt. TRAC was called Interpool at the time, and Fortress used Seacastle Inc., a holding company, for the purchase.

Seacastle later registered for an initial public offering but withdrew its IPO registration in 2009 following the financial crisis. Plans for another IPO reportedly were considered again before Fortress opted to put the company up for sale.

TRAC had earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $49.3 million in the third quarter of 2014, compared with $36.4 million a year earlier. For the first nine months of 2014, EBITDA was $149.1 million, compared with $118.5 million a year earlier.

As of Sept. 30, the company owned, leased in or managed 276,075 chassis, including an active fleet of 199,786 marine chassis, which represent more than one-third of the overall U.S. fleet of marine chassis.

As the largest lessor of chassis, TRAC is involved in efforts to develop port-wide pool agreements for interchangeable “gray” chassis at Los Angeles-Long Beach and New York-New Jersey, the nation’s busiest container port gateways.

Contact Joseph Bonney at jbonney@joc.com and follow him on Twitter: @JosephBonney.