RailAmerica swings StatesRail deal to acquire eight short lines (10/16/2001)


Three days after announcing that it hadn't yet reached a definitive ParkSierra Rail Group merger agreement to acquire that company's three short lines, RailAmerica Inc. Oct. 15 signed an agreement with StatesRail to acquire the Dallas-based holding company's eight short lines.

Under agreement terms, the purchase price comprises $70 million in cash and assumed debt, and $20 million in RailAmerica common stock.

RailAmerica plans to close the transaction — gaining seven freight and one Hawaiian tourist railroad with 1,647 track miles in 11 states — within 45 days pending regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

The holding company then plans to integrate the railroads — which in 2000 moved 175,000 freight carloads and 276,000 passengers — into its North American network that currently consists of 37 regionals and short lines covering 6,300 track miles.

"The addition of these railroads is consistent with our strategic approach to build clusters of rail operations to achieve corporate, operating and marketing efficiencies, enhance purchasing power and solidify relationships with our U.S.-based Class I interchange partners," said Gary Marino, RailAmerica chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement, adding that RailAmerica projects StatesRail to add about $17 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization during its first full year.

Source: Progressive Railroading Daily News