FORT WORTH, TX / April 17, 2023 / As a leading provider of inspection, maintenance, repair and specialized construction services for railroad infrastructure in the United States, American Track Services (“ATS”) is proud to announce the acquisition of Universal Rail Systems (“URS”) in Canada and the creation of a new parent company, North American Rail Solutions.
With the establishment of North American Rail Solutions, the two existing brands will operate under a consolidated umbrella, with ATS serving customers in the United States and URS serving customers in Canada. ATS and URS will remain focused on quality service while continuing to increase their geographic reach and combining their capabilities to deliver an industry-leading suite of solutions and services in both countries. The North American Rail Solutions brands partner with organizations of all sizes and across all industries to help them build and strengthen their rail transportation infrastructure to support operational growth.
Following this transaction, Thomas Lucario, current Chief Executive Officer of American Track Services, will serve as CEO for North American Rail Solutions, ATS, and URS. Ken Reger will serve as CFO. Tim McMillan will serve as President and COO of URS, lead operations in Canada, and will join the Board of Directors of North American Rail Solutions.
“The creation of North American Rail Solutions along with the consolidation of American Track Services and Universal Rail Systems will create increased capabilities that are unmatched in the industry,” said Thomas Lucario, CEO of American Track Services. As a team of proactive experts with unparalleled industry experience, we are able to deliver the largest and most trusted rail services platform in North America. With this acquisition, we can now leverage our combined size and suite of services to support our partners and customers whenever and wherever they need us. The URS team has consistently provided excellent service and have proven themselves as the industry leader in Canada. ATS and URS share a common culture centered on customer service, quality, and responsiveness both internally and externally. We are proud to welcome Tim McMillan and the entire URS team into the North American Rail Solutions and American Track Services family.”
Tim McMillan, President and COO for URS added: “We are excited to partner with the ATS team to create the newly formed North American Rail Solutions. Our combined experience, resources, and scale will enable us to provide our customers with the highest level of service throughout North America. We very much look forward to this next chapter of growth in our business.”
In 2021, DFW Capital Partners acquired American Track Services and has assisted with an aggressive strategy to grow the organization organically and through acquisition. Operating from 12 full-service offices in strategically located U.S. markets, the company provides mission-critical services to its customers that ensure the safety, compliance, operability, and flexibility of onsite railway assets. American Track Services serves a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, petrochemical, mining, agricultural products, food and beverage, basic raw materials, ports, transload facilities, and short-line railroads.
Keith Pennell, Managing Partner of DFW Capital Partners, added: “Less than 18 months after our original investment in American Track Services, we have become the leading North American provider of rail inspection, maintenance, repair, and niche construction services to industrial customers. With the addition of Universal Rail Systems, we will not only broaden our footprint into Canada, but build upon established relationships and proven capabilities in the Class 1 and transit segments — all while partnering with a first-class team of industry veterans. We are excited to welcome the entire URS organization under the new North American Rail Solutions umbrella!”
ATS acquired URS from an investor group led by TorQuest Partners (“TorQuest”). TorQuest’s Mike Salisbury stated: “We are proud of the partnership we have built with the URS management team over the years and wish them continued success in this new chapter with North American Rail Solutions.”
URS was represented in the process by Northborne Partners and Lazard. Affiliates of DFW Capital Partners made an additional equity investment in the company, coupled with support from ATS’ existing lender, PineBridge Investments. Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
North American Rail Solutions
Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, North American Rail Solutions is an international railroad services organization serving clientele across the continent. The organization’s unmatched reach is supported by an interconnected network of entrenched local offices and entities, enabling the team to respond to any railroad issue, anywhere within the United States or Canada. North American Rail Solutions (www.NorthAmericanRailSolutions.com) is a portfolio company of DFW Capital Partners.
American Track Services
Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, American Track Services is the leading independent provider of turnkey railroad design, repair, maintenance, construction, inspection, and terminal services for critical rail infrastructure at industrial, short-line, municipal, and logistics sites in the United States. www.AmericanTrack.com
Universal Rail Systems
Headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Universal Rail Systems is the leading railway infrastructure service provider in Canada, operating out of 12 locations across Canada from West coast to East Coast. URS is the largest provider of industrial rail inspection, maintenance, construction and terminal services in Canada. In addition, URS provides Class I and Transit customer support services including construction, flagging, signals, and ticketing. www.universalrail.com
DFW Capital Partners
DFW Capital Partners is a private equity investment firm focused on lower middle-market companies. With ~$2 billion under management, the firm concentrates on service companies, with an emphasis on outsourced business and industrial support services, and healthcare companies. DFW has established a 20+ year track record of success in both building leading companies and recognizing attractive returns for its investors. DFW is headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey and maintains an office in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Additional information is available on DFW’s website at www.dfwcapital.com.
Founded in 2002, TorQuest Partners is a Canadian-based manager of private equity funds. With more than C$3.5 billion of equity capital under management, TorQuest is currently investing from TorQuest Partners Fund V, a C$1.4 billion fund that closed in March 2020. TorQuest invests in middle market companies and works in close partnership with management to build value. To learn more about TorQuest, please visit www.torquest.com.