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Nov 21 (Reuters) - U.S. railroad operator Norfolk Southern Corp said on Monday it would buy the assets of Cincinnati Southern Railway (CSR) for about $1.62 billion in cash.
The deal, which would give Norfolk Southern ownership of about 9,500 acres of land, ensures that the railroad operator would own the line in perpetuity while eliminating uncertainty around future lease costs.
CSR is currently owned by the City of Cincinnati and operated by the Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Norfolk Southern Railway, under a lease agreement expiring in 2026.
"The Cincinnati Southern Railway is a critical artery linking the Midwest and the Southeast ...," Norfolk Southern's Chief Executive Alan Shaw said in a statement.
Norfolk Southern, which expects the transaction to close in the first half of 2024, said it intends to finance the deal through a combination of internal and external sources. (Reporting by Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)