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Westrail bids shortlisted

01 Sep 2000

FOUR CONSORTIA have been shortlisted for the privatisation of Western Australia's freight and infrastructure business. The four are undertaking due diligence, which will culminate with the submission of final bids in October. Announcing the shortlist on August 9, WA Transport Minister Murray Criddle said that he hoped to announce the successful bidder 'before the end of the year.'

He described the four consortia as 'led by highly respected, experienced and efficient rail operators and backed by quality institutional equity providers', and noted that 'all shortlisted bidders submitted a strong business plan with innovative ideas for improving service and growing the rail business.' They are:

Australian Railroad Group: Genesee & Wyoming Australia, which operates the South Australian freight railway and is part of the Alice-Darwin consortium, with local industrial and road transport group Wesfarmers.

Black Swan Rail Consortium: US-based Railroad Development Corp with Australian civil engineering group Barclay Mowlem Ltd, also an equity participant in the Alice-Darwin consortium.

Freight WA: Rail America, which took over Freight Australia, formerly V-Line Freight, in May 1999.

Western Freight Consortium: British franchise operator GB Railways and AMEC Engineering. n