Estonian state-run logistics company Operail has agreed to offload its Finnish freight transport services to Nurminen Logistics for €27.7m.

A purchase and sale contract has been signed in this regard.

Operail commenced freight services in Finland at the end of 2020.

According to the company, the move to divest the business was not triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, though the war impacted the sales process.

Last year, the market scenario for 1,520 mm gauge railways significantly declined, the company stated, prompting its decision to completely withdraw from Finland.

The daily operations of Operail Finland will remain unchanged upon completion of the deal, which awaits clearance from Finnish authorities.

Existing employees of the business will also be retained.

Finland-based Nurminen expects the acquisition to boost its net sales and operating profit ‘significantly’ from this year onwards.

The company, which provides rail transport, terminal, as well as multimodal solutions, said that the deal unlocks new cooperation prospects with Nordic and Central European rail operators.

It also expects the acquisition to support its rail traffic development between Finland and Asia in the coming days. 

The transaction will become effective after regulatory nod, which will be followed by a transition period when Operail will hand over all the activities of the Finnish entity to the new owner.

A subsidiary of Operail, Operail Finland has nine Wabtec Powerhaul freight locomotives, and one C30-MF shunting locomotive built in Estonia.

The business has a workforce of around 40.  

Operail CEO Raul Toomsalu said: “While at first, it was uncertain whether we would be able to sell the company at all or whether we would have to close it down and sell the assets, the better scenario worked out in the end. The sales price covers all obligations.”