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2/13/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

FreightCorp/National Rail Corp. deal ends with 'Down-Under' bidder


The Australian commonwealth, and states of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria Jan. 31 accepted a $1.17 billion bid to sell a combined FreightCorp/National Rail Corp. Ltd. (NRC) to National Rail Consortium Pty Ltd., which is jointly owned by public Australian transportation companies Toll Holdings Ltd. and Lang Corp. Ltd.
Other main concession bidders were RailAmerica Inc. and Australian Railroad Group, which is 50 percent owned by Genesee & Wyoming Inc. and Wesfarmers Ltd.
Government officials believe National Rail Consortium will bring significant large-scale national transport and private-sector logistics experience to a combined FreightCorp/NRC operation, according to a prepared statement.
The $1.17 billion bid includes $936 million to purchase the railroads, $118 million to assume net debt and a $118 million commitment to the NSW Broadacre Project, which aims to preserve and redevelop the state's landscape and wetlands.
To ensure that the sale treats FreightCorp and NRC employees fairly, National Rail Consortium agreed to provide workers a three-year job guarantee.
National Rail Consortium would assume control of FreightCorp and NRC upon sale closing, which government officials expect in late February.
FreightCorp, owned by NSW State Rail Authority, annually carries more than 85 million tons of freight, including coal, grain, and minerals; NRC, which is 70 percent owned by the commonwealth, 20 percent by NSW and 10 percent, Victoria, mainly hauls containerized freight and industrial products.


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