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Arcapita bankrolls $1.5bn US transport venture

In its foray into the sector the Bahrain-based investor is looking to take a slice of the $770bn US transport market with an investment in MRH Holdings.

Arcapita, the Shariah-compliant investment firm, is backing MRH Holdings, a newly created vehicle which will make up to $1.5 billion in US acquisitions in the transport sector.

A source close to the deal said Arcapita had not yet committed any capital, saying that the firm had merely created a “conceptual platform” with the management team from which to start executing US transport deals.

MRH Holdings, which will be run by marine transport veteran Mark Holden, plans to take advantage of the continued growth in the US transportation market. The company said it is set to double in size by 2017.

Mark Holden, who will be president and chief executive officer of MRH Holdings, has a strong pedigree in the US transport industry having led the successful turnaround of American Commercial Lines between 2005 and 2007. He is joined by Richard Mitchell, another veteran of American Commercial Lines, who will serve as chief financial officer.

MRH will invest in truck, rail and marine operators across the US. 

Mitchell said in a statement: “We believe the opportunity to provide solutions to shippers of freight continues to grow, not only due to industry growth but also due to the inherent capacity constraints within the various modes of transportation, particularly in truck and rail.

“In addition, we believe that the current transportation industry fundamentals will facilitate success in pursuing our acquisition strategy.”

Last month, Arcapita joined forces with Indian conglomerate, Tanti Group, to complete its first Chinese investment. With the joint acquisition of Beijing-based Honiton Energy, the two firms will look to invest $2 billion in Chinese wind farms.