LUXEMBOURG and NEW YORK, NEW YORK, U.S. — Sodrugestvo Group announced on Jan. 18 that it has acquired Russia-based railcar operator Balt-Trans, the second largest operator of grain hoppers in the country.

Founded in 2009 by a group of private investors, Balt-Trans contributes 1,875 grain hoppers and 102 boxcars to the group's logistics operations, already consisting of Trans-Agro, a railcar owner, operator and freight forwarder.

Combined, the company now owns a total of 2,225 grain hoppers and 102 boxcars and leases 80 vegetal oil cars on a long-term basis. Sodrugestvo was the company's largest customer prior to its purchase. The group has received all required regulatory approvals for the transaction.

"By combining Balt-Trans' holdings with our existing Trans-Agro operations, Sodrugestvo is now able to fully control its logistics chain inside Russia," said Stephane Frappat, chief executive officer of Sodrugestvo Group. "This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to providing the best possible customer service to the agricultural markets in Russia, the company’s most important and rapidly growing region.”