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RailAmerica gets last green light to sell Freight Australia


Today, RailAmerica Inc. announced the state of Victoria has approved the sale of Freight Australia to Australian-based freight-rail logistics firm Pacific National.

In March, RailAmerica reached an agreement with Pacific National to sell Freight Australia for $200 million, pending approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission — which blessed the transaction last month — and Victoria. The parties now expect to close the transaction during the third quarter.

"We will now concentrate on satisfying certain administrative conditions precedent to completion of the sale, none of which we believe to be material," said RailAmerica Chief Executive Officer Charles Swinburn in a prepared statement. "Once the transaction closes, we will proceed with our plans to focus on strengthening and growing our North American business."

RailAmerica will use proceeds from the transaction — under which Pacific National will assume ownership of the short-line holding company's 45-year lease of the Victorian Freight Network — to reduce debt.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/16/2004