The Andersons has sold its railcar leasing business to ITE Management affiliate American Industrial Transport (AITX) in a cash transaction of approximately $550m.

With this acquisition, AITX and its affiliates will now be able to provide a leasing fleet of nearly 60,000 railcars of different car types, equipment lifecycles, commodities, and industries-serviced.

ITE managing partner and AITX board of directors member Jason Koenig said: “AITX expects to hire a majority of The Andersons employees in the railcar leasing business, and we are pleased to welcome aboard our new team members.

“With our more diversified fleet offering and best-in-class repair network, AITX customers now have greater flexibility to meet their rail shipping, servicing, and data needs.”

The Andersons offers agriculture supply chain solutions to its core verticals of grain and fertiliser segments.

The company also plans to sell its remaining railcar repair business, including 29 facilities across the US.

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The Andersons president and CEO Pat Bowe said: “The strategic decision to sell the leasing business allows us to focus on and invest in our agricultural segments to leverage our core strengths. It also will improve our balance sheet, thereby enabling us to redeploy capital in a manner that will enhance shareholder returns.

“While we intend to divest our Rail segment in its entirety, we will continue normal operations of our repair and service business as we conduct a sale process.”

As a railcar service provider, AITX offers solutions to freight shipping clients across railcar leasing, full-service repair, and data.

The company claims that its ‘broad and diverse’ railcar leasing fleet provides shipping flexibility, as well as a portfolio of financing options to the customers.