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August 1, 2022

Aurizon closes acquisition of One Rail Australia for $1.75bn

Aurizon will integrate ORA’s bulk rail haulage and general freight assets into its bulk business.

Australian freight rail transport firm Aurizon has concluded its A$2.35bn ($1.75bn) deal to purchase rail freight operator company One Rail Australia (ORA).

The deal covers two businesses, one being ORA’s bulk rail haulage and general freight assets in South Australia and the Northern Territory, along with the 2,200km Tarcoola-to-Darwin railway line.

Aurizon will integrate this business into its existing Aurizon Bulk business.

The second business covered by the deal is East Coast Rail (ECR), a coal haulage business in New South Wales and Queensland.

This business will be sold under the terms of an undertaking given to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Last month, the ACCC approved ORA’s acquisition on the condition that the company divested its East Coast business.

Aurizon has already started a dual-track process for the disposal, which will be executed through a trade sale or demerger.

ECR will be run separately from Aurizon until the sale. It will consist of an independent board and management, as well as an independent manager approved by the ACCC.

In October last year, Aurizon reached an agreement with Macquarie Asset Management to buy ORA.

The agreement met all its prerequisite conditions with the ACCC’s approval of the deal last month.

ORA managing director and CEO Andrew Harding said: “The One Rail acquisition is aligned with Aurizon’s growth strategy and provides the platform to expand into new markets and geographies.

“One Rail is a leading provider of intermodal and bulk freight in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

“In addition, it includes the 2,200km Tarcoola-to-Darwin railway line, connecting regions rich in resources and agricultural commodities with Darwin, the closest port to Asia.

“The One Rail acquisition will be transformative for Aurizon, delivering the scope and scale with new customers, new regions and greater exposure to new economy commodities such as copper, manganese and rare earths.”

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