Aurizon has completed the acquisition of One Rail Australia for A$2·35bn.

AUSTRALIA: Aurizon announced on July 29 that it had completed the acquisition of One Rail Australia for A$2·35bn.

The acquisition includes two distinct businesses.

One Rail’s bulk haulage and general freight assets in South Australia and the Northern Territory, including the 2 200 km Tarcoola – Darwin railway, are to be integrated into the Aurizon Bulk business.

The East Coast Rail coal haulage activities in New South Wales and Queensland are to be divested via a trade sale or demerger under the terms of an undertaking given to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. Until divestment, ECR will be held and operated separately to Aurizon, with an independent board and management and an independent manager approved by ACCC.

‘The One Rail acquisition is aligned with Aurizon’s growth strategy and provides the platform to expand into new markets and geographies’, said Aurizon Managing Director & CEO Andrew Harding when the deal was completed. ‘The One Rail acquisition will be transformative for Aurizon, delivering the scope and scale with new customers, new regions and greater exposure to new economy commodities such as copper, manganese and rare earths.’

Aurizon announced in October 2021 that it had reached a A$2·35bn agreement to acquire One Rail, the former Genesee & Wyoming Australia business which had been spun off to Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets and PGGM in 2019.

However, the ACCC was concerned that the deal would reduce competition in the NSW and Queensland coal markets, where Aurizon, Pacific National and One Rail currently compete, and granted approval for the acquisition on July 14 2022 subject to a court-enforceable undertaking that Aurizon will divest the East Coast business.