Rail freight company Lineas gets bailout from Flemish and Walloon governments

Rail freight company Lineas is to receive a third bailout of 46 million euros, De Tijd reported on Thursday. For the first time, the Flemish and Walloon governments are helping to save the ailing company.

The federal government has financially supported Lineas twice, with 20 million euros in the spring of 2023 and another 60 million euros in January. The company, which employs 2,100 people, is owned by the federal private equity company SFPIM and the French investment fund Argos Wityu.

Now the Flemish and Walloon governments are helping Lineas out financially. The Flemish investment company PMV is investing 17.5 million euros, while the Walloon government is providing 8 million euros through Wallonie Entreprendre. In addition, the banks KBC and Belfius are contributing a further 20 million euros.

Break-even in 2024

The authorities consider Lineas too important to go under. The petrochemical sector in the port of Antwerp-Bruges relies on the company, which loads and unloads 190,000 containers a year on and off rail wagons via its transhipment terminal. Bankruptcy would bring the port's rail traffic to a standstill, as a new operator would not be ready overnight, and might allow a foreign company to take over.

Meanwhile, Lineas continues to seek investment from the private sector. It has reduced its losses from 80 million euros to 40 million by 2023 and plans to break even this year.



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