GE Capital Rail Services
- For GE's European rail leasing business see GE Capital Rail Services (Europe)
|Headquarters||Chicago Title and Trust Center
|Key people||CEO & President : Joe Lattanzio|
|Services||Rolling stock leasing|
GE Capital Rail Services, also known as GE Railcar, or GE Railcar Services Corporation is a business unit of GE Capital, a division of General Electric. It is a distinct business unit from General Electric's railway locomotive manufacturer.
GE Rail Services offers leases and manages railcars (railway wagons) for the North American market; its product range includes all types of common freight wagon including box, flat, covered and uncovered hopper (gondola), and tank wagons. The company also manages service and repair of wagons.
In 1986 GE Railcar Services Corp. acquired the assets of North American Car Corp, a former rail leasing subsidiary of Tiger International which had become insolvent in 1984; GE acquired ~35000 rail wagons and 14 maintenance units in North America at a cost of $420 million.
In 1989 GE acquired the railcar leasing and management business of Brae Corporation from holding company Leucadia National for approximately $180 million, acquiring 15000 boxcars. With the acquisition GE entered the per diem boxcar leasing business.
In 1992 GE Capital Railcar reached an agreement to lease Itel Rail Corporation's (subsidiary of Itel Corporation) railcar fleet; in 1990 Itel Rail had ~70,000 rail vehicles, approximately one third of which were boxcars, another third covered hopper wagons, the remainder tank, open hopper, flat and speciality wagons. The lease agreement was for 12 years with a purchase option - the agreement brought GE's for lease fleet to ~140,000 units. The agreement moved significant accumulated debt off Itel Corporation's balance sheet; in the late 1989s Itel Corp had expanded aggressively into the North American railcar leasing business through a number of acquisitions, as well as acquiring interests in other related logistics and transportation businesses. GE would pay rental payments of $150 million pa (GE Capital had also acquired Itels container leasing business in 1990 for over $800 million.)
In 1997 GE Railcar entered into a leasing agreement with manufacturer American Car and Foundry Company (ACF) to lease 35000 vehicles (over three quarters of its fleet), with purchase and supplementary agreements to use ACF's repair facilities.
In 2008 GE attempted to sell the business - GATX Corp offered $3billion for the company but the deal was not completed due to difficulties raising funds due to the late 2000s banking credit crisis. In 2011 it was reported that GE had again placed the business up for sale - the assets were valued at $3 billion at the end of 2010. The unconfirmed sale attempt was reported as having been cancelled in July 2011.
In the late 2000s, due to a drop in rail vehicle leasing due the general economic recession initiated by the 2000s financial crisis GE Railcar attempted to alter the terms on a $1.2 billion contract (2007)for the acquisition of over 11000 rail vehicles from The Greenbrier Companies. The GE contract represented 84% of Greenbrier's ongoing railcar orders, and any reduction in the order volume was expected to cause job and revenue losses in addition to those already caused by the recession and the production slowdown for the GE order. On 15 December 2009 GE and Greenbrier reached a modified contract agreement in which Greenbrier would manufacturer up to 6000 units for GE. As terms of the contract Greenbrier gained the right of first refusal to manufacture any GE railcar order placed up to December 2018, and a similar right to any vehicle refurbishment up to 2015. Greenbrier also obtained maintenance co-partner agreement for GE's rail rolling stock over a 5 year period. The resultant contract gave Greenbrier an order book of at least 4900 units valued at $430 million plus an option for a further 2200 vehicles. The renegotiated contract represented approximately 40% of the North American freight car industry backlog.
- "General Electric Railcar Services Corporation", investing.businessweek.com (Bloomberg L.P.), retrieved 10 January 2012
- "People - High Profile", Railway Age, April 2009: 52
- "GE Capital Rail Services Brochure 2011", www.ge.com (General Electric), 2011
- "GE Capital - Rail Services : History", www.ge.com (General Electric)
- Donald Woutat (19 October 1985), "Tiger Blames Weak Air Cargo Market for Loss", articles.latimes.com (Los Angeles Times), "Tiger continued to be plagued by North American Car, its former rail-car subsidiary whose bankruptcy left the parent with a $132-million debt. About $3.4 million of Tiger's third-quarter loss was due to interest on its note payable to North American Car"
- Carol Jouzaitis (10 July 1986), "Ge Railcar Seals Purchase Of North American`s Fleet", articles.chicagotribune.com (Chicago Tribune)
- "G.E. Rail Car Makes Purchase", www.nytimes.com (New York Times), 10 July 1986
- "Railcar Operations To Be Sold to G.E.", www.nytimes.com (Reuters via New York Times), 10 August 1989
- "Equipment lessors - obvious options - 1990 Rail Finance Review and Directory", Railway Age (Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation / Gale Group , via findarticles.com), December 1989
- "GE Capital Railcar moves to acquire Itel Rail fleet", Railway Age (Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation / Gale Group , via findarticles.com), February 1992
- Christopher Carey (11 March 1997), "ACF LEASES 35,500 RAILCARS TO RIVAL: GE CAPITAL IS GIVEN OPTION TO PURCHASE", St Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, via business.highbeam.com)
- "GE Capital Railcar Services Leases Part of ACF's Fleet", PRNewswire, via www.thefreelibrary.com (GE Capital Railcar Services), 10 March 1997
- "ACF Industries Enters Into Railcar Lease With GE Capital Railcar", PRNewswire, via www.thefreelibrary.com (ACF Industries, Incorporated), 10 March 1997
- Soyoung Kim (3 May 2011), "GE railcar leasing unit for sale: source", www.reuters.com (Reuters)
- Kim, Soyoung (26 July 2011), "GE pulls sale of railcar leasing business-sources", www.reuters.com (Reuters)
- "Greenbrier to Provide GE's Rail Services Business With 11,900 New Railcars Over 8 Years; Railcars to Include GE Fleet Management Technology", www.prnewswire.com (The Greenbrier Companies), 10 October 2007
- Ruthie Ackerman (5 March 2009), "Greenbrier Feeling Blue", www.forbes.com (Forbes)
- Yep, Eric (7 July 2009), "Greenbrier cuts production, GE seeks to defer orders (Update 5)", www.reuters.com (Reuters)
- "GE slows down, Greenbrier suffers", www.oregnlive.com (The Oregonian), 7 July 2009
- "Greenbrier Modifies Long-Term New Railcar Contract with GE Railcar Services", www.prnewswire.com (The Greenbrier Companies via PRNewswire), 15 December 2009
- "Greenbrier-GE Railcar contract cut from 11,900 to 6,000 cars", www.railwayage.com (Railway Age), 15 December 2009