Darwin to Adelaide rail operator sold in $12.3bn deal

The Ghan on its way from Alice Springs to Darwin.

The operator of the Darwin to Tarcoola rail line, Genesee & Wyoming is being purchased by a group of investors – affiliates of both Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP and Singapore sovereign-wealth fund GIC – for roughly $US8.5 billion.

The deal, subject to shareholder approval, is not expected to be completed until the end of this year and will have no immediate effect on the Darwin to Adelaide rail link.

GIC is a leading global investment firm established in 1981 to manage Singapore’s foreign reserves.

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

It owns and operates high quality, long-life assets in the utilities, transport, energy and data infrastructure sectors across North and South America, Asia Pacific (including Australia) and Europe.

G & W’s Australia region serves New South Wales, the Northern Territory and South Australia.

The Australia region is 51.1% owned by G & W and 48.9% owned by a consortium of funds and clients managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.

A statement issued from the United States said the transaction will result in Genesee & Wyoming Inc becoming a privately held company.

“Under the new ownership, G & W will continue to focus on world class safety and outstanding service, while pursuing the company’s strategic goals,” the statement says.

Genesee & Wyoming Inc owns a portfolio of 120 short line railroads, predominantly in North America, with operations in Europe and Australia.

“For our customers, employees, and Class I partners, the long-term investment horizon of Brookfield Infrastructure and GIC as seasoned infrastructure investors is perfectly aligned with the long lives of G & W railroad assets, which are integral to the local economies that we serve in North America and around the world,” G & W chairman and chief executive officer Jack Hellmann says.

Brookfield Infrastructure CEO Sam Pollock says the transaction is a rare opportunity to acquire a large-scale transport infrastructure business in North America.

“G & W will be a significant addition to our global rail platform,” he says.

“Brookfield Infrastructure is well suited to work with the company to continue to improve the business, given our significant experience owning and operating rail, ports and other large-scale transportation infrastructure businesses.”

This article from the NT News originally appeared as “Operator of Darwin to South Australia rail line in $8.5 billion US sale”.