BRX Transportation Holdings, an entity formed by Brookhaven Rail Partners and Related Infrastructure, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Pioneer Railcorp.

Under the terms of the agreement, BRX will acquire the US short-line railroad holding company for $18.81 per share in cash.

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The deal has been approved by the Pioneer’s independent directors.

The shares of Pioneer’s subsidiary Heartland Rail Investments will be cancelled without consideration.

Pioneer president and CEO Mike Carr said: “We look forward to this next chapter in Pioneer’s journey and anticipate it will have a bright future under new ownership.”

Founded in January 1986, Pioneer Railcorp owns 17 short-line common carrier railroad operations.

It also owns an equipment leasing company, two service companies and a contract services switching company.

Overall, Pioneer Lines rail system primarily carries rail freight and comprises 23 rail operations across 13 states, with more than 600 miles of track under operations.

“We look forward to this next chapter in Pioneer’s journey.”

Brookhaven principal Alex Yeros said: “We are excited to partner with Related Infrastructure and to have worked with Pioneer’s management and board on a transaction that brings great value to its shareholders, its customers and the communities it serves.

“Pioneer fits perfectly with Brookhaven’s philosophy of identifying opportunities where our hands-on management expertise, proprietary value creation strategies and deep industry relationships provide us with a competitive advantage and the ability to create value.”

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. The completion is subject to several closing conditions, including Pioneer’s shareholders’ approval, Surface Transportation Board approval and Pioneer’s operating performance within a specified working capital floor and debt ceiling.