UPDATE, 12/13/13, 1:00 p.m. EST: The names of Skadden attorneys advising Sumitomo Mitsui have been added to this article’s final paragraph.
Tokyo’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation said Thursday it has agreed to acquire Flagship Rail Services, a Chicago-based railcar leasing business, from an arm of investment firm Perella Weinberg Partners in a deal worth $1.1 billion.
In announcing the acquisition, Sumitomo said it believes the railcar leasing market is poised for continued growth as a result of the planned expansion of the U.S. railroad system and an energy industry–driven increase in demand for rail services. Flagship Rail is the ninth-largest railcar lessor in North America, with roughly 15,000 railcars used to transport goods from a variety of industries. Perella Weinberg’s Asset Based Value Strategy unit bought Flagship Rail from American International Group for $600 million in 2011 amid a sell-off of assets launched by the insurance giant in order to repay its government bailout. Perella Weinberg says the business has increased its fleet by more than 50 percent since 2011.
The Flagship Rail sale is expected to close by the end of this year, pending regulatory approval.
A team of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel attorneys led by New York–based M&A partner James Moriarty is advising Perella Weinberg’s unit on the sale of Flagship Rail. Tax partner Russell Pinilis, corporate antitrust partner Abbe Dienstag, intellectual property partner Erica Klein and employee benefits special counsel Avram Cahn are also advising. Kramer Levin associates working on the deal are Scott Abramowitz, Michael Andrescavage, Matthew Melville and Yael Steiner.
Moriarty also led the Kramer Levin team that advised the Perella Weinberg unit on its purchase of Flagship Rail in 2011—a deal in which Weil, Gotshal & Manges served as AIG’s outside counsel.
Perella Weinberg’s general counsel is Andrew Siegel, a former Shearman & Sterling associate.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is advising Sumitomo—Japan’s second-largest bank, behind only The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ—with a team that includes Palo Alto–based corporate partner Kenton King and New York–based corporate counsel Hiroshi Sarumida. Financial institutions regulatory partners William Sweet and Brian Christiansen are also advising, along with tax partner Sally Thurston and executive compensation and benefits partner Joseph Yaffe.