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STB blesses Genesee & Wyoming's RailAmerica acquisition

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) yesterday announced it approved the acquisition of RailAmerica Inc. by Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI), subject to certain conditions.

The board found that the proposed acquisition is unlikely to cause a substantial lessening of competition, create a monopoly, restrain interstate trade or enhance market power. The operating plans currently governing each railroad involved in the transaction — including those at locations where a GWI railroad interconnects or interchanges with a RailAmerica railroad — would remain unchanged, STB members said in a prepared statement.

The board's decision requires GWI and RailAmerica to adhere to all representations made on the record during the course of the proceeding. In addition, the transaction will be subject to certain labor-protective conditions, STB members said.

The STB's decision is effective Dec. 28, GWI officials said in a prepared statement. Assuming no stay requests are made by the Dec. 24 deadline set by the board, the voting trust that has controlled RailAmerica since the transaction closed on Oct. 1 is expected to be dissolved on Dec. 28 and GWI would assume control of RailAmerica and begin integrating the two companies, they said.

The acquisition of RailAmerica's 45 regionals and short lines in the United States and Canada boosts GWI's railroad holdings to 108 in North America and 111 worldwide.

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