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7/14/2006



Rail News: M&A

Watco to acquire Minnesota, Dakota & Western from Boise Cascade



By Labor Day, the Watco Cos. Inc. will begin operating its 17th short line. Yesterday, the company announced it reached an agreement with Boise Cascade to acquire the Minnesota, Dakota & Western Railway Co. (MD&W). Watco currently owns 16 short lines operating in 14 states.

Expected to close by August’s end, the transaction includes the four-mile, International Falls, Minn.-based MD&W and a portion of the International Bridge, a rail and toll bridge linking International Falls and Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada. Abitibi Consolidated, a MD&W customer, will continue to own the bridge’s Canadian portion.

Established in 1910, MD&W also operates 20 miles of track at Boise Cascade’s International Falls mill. A building materials and paper product manufacturer, Boise Cascade has owned the short line since 1965.

“Boise was our first customer in DeRidder, La.,” said Watco Chief Executive Officer Rick Webb in a prepared statement. “We are committed to working with Boise, Abitibi, the communities of International Falls and Fort Frances, and any potential new customers to grow the business on the MD&W.”


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