GIC, Brookfield to buy US freight railroad firm for $8.7b

Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC and Canada's Brookfield Infrastructure (BI) have agreed to acquire US freight railroad owner Genesee & Wyoming (G&W) for about US$6.4 billion (S$8.7 billion) in cash.

Including debt, the deal is valued at about US$8.4 billion, GIC and BI said in a statement on Monday.

G&W shareholders will receive US$112 in cash per share of common stock, which represents a 39.5 per cent premium to its share price of US$80.28 on March 8, the day prior to initial media speculation of a potential transaction.

BI will hold about US$500 million of equity, while the remainder of the business will be owned by its institutional partners and GIC, the statement said.

BI is the flagship listed infrastructure company of Brookfield Asset Management, a global alternative asset manager with over US$365 billion of assets under management.

Under the new ownership, G&W - which will become a privately held company - "will continue to focus on safety and service, while pursuing the company's strategic goals", BI, GIC and G&W said in a joint release on Monday.

G&W owns a portfolio of 120 short-line railroads, most of them in North America, with operations in Europe and Australia.

G&W owns a portfolio of 120 short-line railroads, most of them in North America, with operations in Europe and Australia. The deal is expected to close by year end or early 2020, subject to conditions.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year or early 2020, subject to conditions, including approval by G&W stockholders as well as the necessary regulatory approvals and certain competition and antitrust approvals.

Separately, GIC also announced on Monday that it has entered into an 80-20 joint venture with data centre company Equinix to acquire and develop six hyperscale data centres in Europe for over US$1 billion. That transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.

The joint venture will acquire two operational data centres in London and Paris, which deliver a combined 31 megawatts of power to customers. In addition, there are plans to further develop a data centre each in London and Amsterdam, and two sites in Frankfurt.

Once fully developed, these six facilities will provide approximately 155 megawatts of power capacity. Equinix will develop, operate and manage the data centres.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2019, with the headline 'GIC, Brookfield to buy US freight railroad firm for $8.7b'. Print Edition | Subscribe