|North American RailNet to join OmniTRAX|
|April 26, 2005
North American RailNet (NAR) and OmniTRAX have jointly announced a transaction whereby an OmniTRAX affiliate will merge
with NAR and acquire NAR’s U.S.-based rail operations. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be
completed in early May, 2005. It excludes NAR’s Canadian subsidiary, Alberta RailNet, which will be owned post-transaction by
current NAR shareholders.
The three US based short lines being acquired by OmniTRAX include:
Georgia & Florida RailNet (GFRR)
GFRR is a network of approximately 297 miles of track radiating from its Albany, Georgia headquarters, and extending into
northwestern Florida near the Gulf of Mexico. GFRR’s commodity mix is quite diverse, with carload revenue split between wood
pulp, beer, agricultural commodities, limestone/aggregate and a multitude of other commodities. Included in its diverse base of
60 customers are Miller Brewing, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Buckeye Technologies.
Illinois RailNet (IR)
IR is comprised of four track segments aggregating 113 miles of track just west of the Chicago suburbs. IR services what is
often called “the Sand Capital of the World” in northern Illinois, and serves such leading industrial mineral producers as U.S.
Silica, Wedron Silica, and Unimin Corp.
Nebraska, Kansas & Colorado RailNet (NKCR)
NKCR operates approximately 559 miles of track in three states and carries a diverse mix of wheat, corn, coal, fertilizer. NKCR
has benefited from its ability to attract high throughput grain elevators to its lines due to its superior service record and excellent
relationship with BNSF. Specifically, NKCR recently made considerable track improvements in conjunction with upgrade
investments by the owners of grain elevators at Venango, Loomis and Maywood, Nebraska, each of which now loads 110-car
shuttle trains. In addition to grain, NKCR ships inbound coal to the largest power plant in Nebraska.
“These three short-line railways are an ideal match with our strategic expansion and service plans,” states Bob Parker,
OmniTRAX Chief Operating Officer. “Under OmniTRAX management, the addition of these railroads is significant step in the
plans for expansion of the regional railway holdings as well as diversification of the customer base. ”Mr. Parker also comments
that managing these companies expands the partnership with CSXT, NS, and BNSF. Mr. Parker explains that the addition of the
three brings the OmniTRAX family to 18 railroad operations in North America.
Rob McKenney, Chairman and CEO of North American RailNet, comments, “These three railroads have provided excellent
service to their shippers and connecting carriers, and we are confident they will continue to grow and prosper under the
management of OmniTRAX.”
Robert W. Baird & Co. served as financial advisor to North American RailNet in connection with the transaction.
OmniTRAX is an affiliate of The Broe Companies (www.broe.com), and is the largest privately held rail services company in North
America. With its headquarters in Denver, Colorado, OmniTRAX owns and operates many railroads across the U.S. and in three
Canadian Provinces. OmniTRAX also owns and operates the Port of Churchill, Manitoba. Additionally, OmniTRAX provides
intermodal terminal services to Class I railways through its Quality Terminal Services subsidiary. It also delivers customized
private switching services for major industrial complexes through its OmniTRAX Switching Services subsidiary, and provides
locomotive maintenance services to Class I railways through its OmniTRAX Locomotive Services subsidiary.