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HSBC buys British railway car leasing company for $1.2 billion

February 19, 1997

LONDON (AP) _ Banking company HSBC Holdings PLC said Wednesday it will buy Eversholt Leasing Ltd., one of three railway car leasing companies in Britain, for 726.5 million pounds, or $1.2 billion.

The purchase price includes 273.1 million pounds in assumed debt.

HSBC Holdings, based in London, provides financing for the British automotive and rail industries through its Forward Trust Group subsidiary.

``The acquisition of Eversholt will compliment our existing asset finance business and create a powerful new force in the transport sector,″ said Graham Picken, chief executive of Forward Trust.

Eversholt was privatized in February 1996 and sold to a consortium of its management, employees and venture capitalists led by Candover Investments PLC. In 1996, Eversholt had sales of 219.1 million pounds and operating profit of 123 million pounds.

HSBC Holdings also owns Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp., Britain’s Midland Bank PLC, and U.S.-based Marine Midland Banks Inc.

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