Eramet announces that Meridiam has acquired an equity interest in Setrag through a capital increase of c.€30m, enabling the investment fund to become a shareholder with a 40% stake in the Gabonese subsidiary. In addition to its capital contribution, Meridiam also commits to contributing c.€40m to the financing of Setrag and to bringing its rail expertise in order to ensure the future development of the Transgabonese railway.
In addition, the Gabonese State acquires 9% of Setrag’s capital from Comilog, an Eramet group subsidiary, which remains the company’s majority shareholder with a 51% stake in the capital.
Setrag, which operates the railway line linking Libreville to Franceville in Gabon over a distance of approximately 650 km, is a vital player in the country’s economy. The company ensures the transport of freight and passengers with an average of 330,000 annual passengers and nearly 9 million tons of goods transported in 2020, of which approximately 90% was mining freight.
A new dynamic is currently being deployed. It aims to strengthen the upgrading plan (Plan de Remise à Niveau, "PRN") in order to improve the railway’s performance through modernisation and security actions. It also aims to develop the transport capacity of travellers and goods from 12 million tons to 19 million tons, in order to support the growth of the Gabonese economy.
Meridiam, having extensive experience in infrastructure investment management, particularly in Africa and especially in Gabon, will contribute to the success of this transformation, which should enable Setrag to position itself as a reference in rail transport, particularly in terms of safety and quality of service.