Sleeper train start-up seeks investment

Breaking News 3 April

Sleeper train start-up seeks investment

European sleeper-train start-up Midnight Trains is in the process of seeking a financial investor to back the company’s plans to put its first line into operation and provide capital to finance the construction of specialised trains.

Midnight Trains, co-founded by French entrepreneurs Adrien Aumont and Romain Payet, are working with Apex Rail and boutique M&A advisory firm Gottengreen, sources said.

Gottengreen, launched in 2019 by former Rothschild managing directors Martin Volatier and Frederic Tengelmann, are in the process of selecting a financial investor that will commit up to EUR 25m of equity.

This equity injection will be mainly used to cover Midnight Trains’ financing needs up to 2025, as the company moves towards launching its first night train line on the Paris-Milan-Venice route in 2024.

Apart from becoming a shareholder in Midnight Trains, the incoming financial investor will be given the option to to also invest alongside Midnight Trains’ unnamed leasing partner in a rosco that is being set up as a vehicle to lease rolling stock to the company, according to a teaser seen by Infralogic.

The rosco will receive revenue from leasing out coaches to Midnight Trains, that will be deployed on the network, which will include more than 10 destinations, such as Madrid, Barcelona, Venice, Copenhagen and Berlin.

Midnight Trains plans is to operate 12 lines by 2035, which would contribute to the company’s revenues of around EUR 566m.

In parallel with the equity raise, Apex Rail is also acting as financial advisor to Midnight Trains on a circa EUR 80m capital raise for the new rolling stock, sources added.

Midnight Trains has secured an offer for the rolling stock from an unnamed manufacturer, according to the teaser.

This capital raise, which included both equity and debt instruments, is expected to be finalised in the summer, according to sources.

In January, the European Commission announced that it will support 10 pilot rail projects across Europe, including Midnight Trains’ inaugural Paris-Milan-Venice line.

Other sleeper trains initiatives across Europe include European Sleeper, a company looking to launch a new night train service between Amsterdam and Barcelona, whose plans were also included in the Commission’s 10 projects list.

Midnight Trains and Apex Rail declined to comment. Gottengreen did not respond to requests for comment.

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