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Florida East Coast shareholders bless Fortress acquisition agreement

A vast majority of Florida East Coast Industries Inc. (FECI) shareholders have given the thumbs up to Fortress Investment Group L.L.C.’s acquisition proposal.

Yesterday, holders of more than 98 percent of total shares voted in favor of the transaction, under which a company formed by certain private equity funds managed by Fortress affiliates will acquire FECI for $62.50 per share in cash. The parties still need to satisfy certain closing conditions, but the transaction is expected to close tomorrow.

FECI’s board declared a one-time, special cash dividend of $21.50 per share on all issued and outstanding common stock payable today to stockholders of record as of the close of business July 24. The company’s obligation to pay the special dividend is subject to certain remaining conditions, including confirmation from Fortress that necessary financing is available.

Last week, FECI — which owns the 351-mile Florida East Coast Railway L.L.C. and real estate developer Flagler Development — settled a class action lawsuit with shareholders who were dissatisfied with the acquisition agreement’s terms and disclosures.

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More News from 7/25/2007