Genesee & Wyoming Inc.’s acquisition of RailAmerica Inc. is complete.
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board issued its final decision on GWI’s application to acquire RailAmerica and its railroads on Dec. 20. GWI took control of the company on Dec. 28.
The $1.4 billion deal combines the two largest short-line railroad companies in North America. It adds 45 railroads to GWI’s operations, bringing its total to 108 in North America.
Connecticut-based GWI, which has its administrative base in Rochester, owns and operates short-line and regional freight railroads in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and Australia.
GWI officials said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday that the company has initiated an integration and reorganization plan focused on RailAmerica’s senior executives that will reduce Rail America’s workforce by 13 employees. GWI said the plan is to eliminate redundant senior management.
The company said the plan will cost approximately $7 million in cash payments and $4 million in stock-based compensation. GWI said it also is considering closing RailAmerica’s headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla., and consolidating certain administrative and back office operations into GWI’s Jacksonville office.
GWI said the closing of RailAmerica’s Jacksonville headquarters could result in the elimination of more than 50 full-time positions at RailAmerica in 2013. Full integration is expected to be completed during the first quarter 2013.
GWI stock (NYSE: GWR) was trading midday Friday at 79.98, up 26 cents from Thursday’s close of $79.72. Thursday’s close was down 28 cents from the previous day’s close.
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