First State Investments is to acquire 100% short line group Patriot Rail & Ports from SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners.

USA: Australian investment group First State Investments announced an agreement to acquire 100% of the equity of short line group Patriot Rail & Ports from SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners on August 26. Terms were not disclosed.

Formed in 2006 and acquired by SteelRiver in 2012, Florida-based Patriot now has 12 lines totalling more than 935 km in 14 states. It also provides contract shunting, transloading and wagon storage, cleaning, repair, maintenance and scrapping services, while its ports business operates nine terminals and two cold storage facilities.

‘Patriot is a great addition to our global infrastructure investment portfolio and provides further diversification by sector and geography’, said Danny Latham, a founding partner of FSI’s unlisted infrastructure business. ‘It is consistent with our philosophy of “buy and build” on behalf of our 100-plus global investor base including a number of pension fund and insurance company clients in the USA and Canada.’

Patriot is the first unlisted infrastructure investment in the US by FSI, which manages more than US$8bn of infrastructure investments in the transport and utility sectors in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America, with a focus on mid-market companies.

The Australian company has partnered with MidRail, which was formed by a group of North American rail industry managers led by Gilbert Lamphere, former Chairman of Illinois Central Railway.

FSI was advised by RBC Capital Markets and law firm Mayer Brown, while SteelRiver was advised by Barclays and Winston & Strawn.