US-BASED short line group RailAmerica confirmed on February 4 that it had completed the US$325m acquisition of RailTex Inc announced in October 1999. Under terms approved by both sets of shareholders on February 1, RailTex shareholders will receive $13·50 in cash and 0·66 of a share of RailAmerica stock for each RailTex share.

Approved by the Surface Transportation Board in January, the deal makes RailAmerica the world’s largest operator of short and regional lines, with equity interests in 50 railways operating over 21100 route-km in the USA, Canada, Chile, Mexico and Australia. The company now has 2700 staff, 515 locos and over 8000 wagons.

RailAmerica has not acquired RailTex’s Brazilian holdings, the last of which were sold on January 25. RailTex has sold its stake in Ferrovia Centro-Atlântica to former partner CVRD for US$6·4m, and its holding in America Latina Logística to Global Environment Fund for US$3·4m.