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Rail News: M&A

RailAmerica to be acquired by asset management firm, become private company

The short-line holding company that’s been an active participant in the mergers and acquisitions arena since its formation in 1986 is being acquired. Today, RailAmerica Inc. announced it entered into a merger agreement with a Fortress Investment Group L.L.C. affiliate under which the asset management firm will acquire the holding company for $16.35 in cash for each common share.

The deal — which includes refinancing RailAmerica’s existing debt — will total about $1.1 billion and close in the first quarter, pending regulatory approvals. After the transaction is completed, RailAmerica will become a privately held company.

“We view the transaction as the best alternative for our shareholders,” said RailAmerica Chief Executive Officer Charles Swinburn in a prepared statement.

Morgan Stanley & Co. served as financial advisor and Holland & Knight L.L.P., legal advisor to RailAmerica, which owns and operates 42 U.S. and Canadian regionals and short lines.

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More News from 11/15/2006