Alberta Investment Management Corporation buying Cando Rail & Terminals

by Emily Atkins

The Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) is acquiring a 100 percent equity stake in Cando Rail & Terminals Ltd. from TorQuest Partners.

Cando was founded in 1978 and headquartered in Brandon, Manitoba. It operates a network of 40+ industrial railyards, nine owned terminals and one shortline railroad.

The company has more than 400 active employee shareholders, who collectively own 25 percent of the business. There will be no changes to the company’s operations or management as a result of the transaction.

TorQuest took its stake in the operation in 2018, on undisclosed terms. Since that time revenue has more than doubled and EBITDA more than tripled. Today, more than 60 percent of profits come from owned assets. Before TorQuest’s investment that number was less than 40 percent.

“TorQuest has been an excellent partner for us. Their commitment to investing in our business and our people has provided Cando with an exceptional platform for continued growth and success,” said Brian Cornick, president and CEO of Cando.

“We are delighted with the success of our partnership with TorQuest and excited about the next chapter of our business evolution in partnership with AIMCo. We look forward to continuing to support our customers and benefitting from AIMCo’s considerable experience, relationships and resources.”

AIMCo invests in global infrastructure, with a focus on the transportation sector. It is part of a consortium of institutional investors that acquired the Porterbrook Group of companies in October 2014. Porterbrook owns nearly a third of Britain’s rolling stock.

“Cando is the type of platform investment that has become the hallmark of AIMCo’s infrastructure portfolio. With this investment, our clients add one of Canada’s most successful rail platforms to their infrastructure portfolios,” said Ben Hawkins, head of infrastructure, renewables and sustainable investing at AIMCo.

“We believe in Cando’s incredible potential and look forward to collaborating with their exceptional management to realize a continued track record of growth.

The transaction, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, is expected to close in late Q3 or Q4 2022. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.