FLORIDA EAST COAST Industries announced on May 8 that it had agreed a $3·5bn merger with the private equity Fortress Investment Group, which recently acquired RailAmerica. Unanimously approved by the FECI board, the deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2007.

The 565 km Florida East Coast Railroad links Jacksonville and Miami, and FECI also has extensive property assets through its subsidiary Flagler Development Group. Fortress is paying $62·50 for each FEC share, plus a special dividend of $21·50, giving a 13% premium on the $74·13 share price before the announcement.

  • Short line holding group Patriot Rail has acquired Rarus Railway Corp, which operates the 42 km Butte - Anaconda line in Montana. Patriot is headed by Gary O Marino, the former Chairman, President & CEO of RailAmerica.