LAST MONTH Brazilian mining group Companhia Vale do Rio Doce announced that it had reached agreement to take over Ferrovia Centro-Atlântica, in which it already holds a 12·5% stake. With the backing of its parent steel conglomerate CSN, which also owns 12·5%, CVRD will pay R$218m for the 75% stake held by Banco Garantia, Interférrea, MPE, Judori Administração, Ralph Partners and RailTex International.

At 7200route-km, FCA is the largest of the six former RFFSA networks, and was privatised on September 1 1996 (RBR99 p52). It handles bulk flows of cement, iron, chemicals and oil, with a turnover of R$190m last year expected to grow to R$250m in 1999. The other partners had intended to consolidate FCA operations with those of Ferrovia Sul-Atlântico, which they also control, but CVRD and CSN opposed the move.

CVRD also holds a 20% stake in the ex-RFFSA Ferrovi