First State Investments (FSI) has reached an agreement with SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners to acquire 100% of the equity of Patriot Rail and Ports, which operates a portfolio of 12 short line freight railroads with more than 585 track miles across 14 states in the United States.
Jacksonville, Florida-based Patriot represents the initial unlisted infrastructure investment in the U.S. by FSI, which manages more than US$8 billion of unlisted infrastructure investments across the United Kingdom, continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America, with a focus on mid-market companies in the transportation and utility sectors worldwide.
As part of its acquisition strategy, FSI has partnered with MidRail LLC, a team of experienced rail industry veterans focused on originating, acquiring, and developing rail assets and operations in North America. MidRail is led by Gilbert Lamphere, a well-known railroad executive who previously served as the chairman of Illinois Central Railway and co-founder of MidSouth Rail Corporation.
Patriot's operations include line haul and local rail service in addition to rail-related services such as railcar storage, trans-loading, railcar cleaning, scrapping, repair and maintenance, and contract switching. The Patriot ports business provides terminal stevedoring, logistics, and warehousing services across nine terminals and two cold storage facilities in the Southeastern United States. Patriot has a high quality, diversified customer and commodity mix across its portfolio, with a focus on safe and reliable service as a core value.
FSI was advised by RBC Capital Markets and the law firm of Mayer Brown. SteelRiver was advised by Barclays and the law firm of Winston & Strawn.