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Aurizon is suing US railroad company Genesee & Wyoming (G&W) over the sale of G&W’s Australian assets to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) and Dutch pension fund manager PGGM.
On August 6, 2019, G&W announced it would sell its 51 per cent stake in Genesee & Wyoming Australia to MIRA and PGGM. MIRA and PGGM acquired the first 49 per cent of the business three years ago, in 2016.
Aurizon has now sued G&W, claiming both the 2016 and the 2019 sales were conducted without giving Aurizon a first right of refusal over various forms of divestment by G&W of its Australian assets.
Aurizon claims it is owed that right under an agreement signed between certain Aurizon subsidiaries and certain G&W subsidiaries in June 2006, when Aurizon (then QR National) acquired the Australian Railroad Group’s above rail assets in Western Australia. Australian Railroad Group was, at that time, owned by a joint venture of G&W and Wesfarmers.
G&W Australia’s assets include bulk and general freight assets in South Australia and the Northern Territory including the Tarcoola-to-Darwin rail line and rollingstock. It also owns coal haulage assets in the Hunter.
In an application filed to the Supreme Court of New South Wales on September 17, Aurizon is seeking damages and declarations that G&W breached its long-standing contractual rights.
This article first appeared on www.railexpress.com.au
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