The U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) is seeking public comments on Brookfield Asset Management’s proposed acquisition of shortline operator Genesee & Wyoming (NYSE: GWR). Broofield announced plans to acquire GWR earlier this month in a deal valued at $8.4 billion.
Brookfield asked the Board in a July 9 filing to allow an exemption that would pave the way towards acquisition. Brookfield and partnering owner DJP said they do not own or control rail lines that are connected to GWR.
The Board responded on July 22 saying that it wanted to receive public feedback on whether such an exemption is appropriate in this circumstance. Comments are due by August 21 and replies are due by September 5. The identification number for the proceeding is FD36326.
In a July 23 research note, Susquehanna Financial Group transportation analyst Bascome Majors said that stakeholders shouldn’t be concerned about the Board’s public inquiry since the Board is still likely to approve the financial transaction.
“We view the comment period as a CYA [cover your ass] exercise for the agency in an attempt to let various industry stakeholders feel their voices are heard on this sizeable financial deal,” Majors said.