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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

RailAmerica gains new lease on debt life through asset transactions


RailAmerica Inc. July 3 completed locomotive sale/leaseback transactions in North America totaling $8.4 million — adding to the short-line holding company's $22.2 million worth of sale/leasebacks completed in December.
The transactions, which complete RailAmerica's North American sale/leaseback program, were designed to help reduce the company's debt.
"Including these transactions, our projected 2001 lease payments now are only 3.2 percent of our projected 2001 revenue — nearly 20 percent below the railroad average of 3.9 percent," said Gary Marino, RailAmerica chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement. "Coupled with our recently announced private placement of $41 million of common stock equity, these transactions reduce our long-term debt by approximately $50 million."
RailAmerica now has repaid about $105 million of its total net debt, which totaled $478 million in July 2000.
By year-end, the company plans to achieve a debt-to-equity ratio of less than two-to-one by completing its asset rationalization plan, conducting additional locomotive sale/leasebacks in Chile and acquiring rail properties in North America and abroad.