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Brookfield Is Lead Bidder for Railroad Operator Genesee & Wyoming

Gillian Tan and Scott Deveau

(Bloomberg) -- An affiliate of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is the frontrunner to acquire railroad operator Genesee & Wyoming Inc., according to people with knowledge with the matter.

A deal could be announced in coming weeks, though no agreement has been reached and discussions may still fall apart, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. A representative for Brookfield declined to comment, while representatives for Genesee & Wyoming didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Shares of the Darien, Connecticut-based railroad company rose as much as 4.7% in New York, to the highest in more than four years, and were up 1.5% to $98.02 at 1:39 p.m.

Bloomberg reported in May that the Toronto-based investment firm was vying with rivals including Blackstone Group LP, Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners and EQT Partners to acquire the company, which had been exploring strategic options including a sale since at least March.

Genesee & Wyoming, with a market value of about $5.6 billion, owns or leases more than 100 short-line and regional freight railroads serving the U.S. and Canada. The company doesn’t compete directly with the largest North American railroads such as Union Pacific Corp., CSX Corp. and Canadian National Railway Co. It also has operations in Australia, the U.K. and continental Europe.

(Updates with share price in third paragraph.)

To contact the reporters on this story: Gillian Tan in New York at gtan129@bloomberg.net;Scott Deveau in New York at sdeveau2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Goldstein at agoldstein5@bloomberg.net, ;Elizabeth Fournier at efournier5@bloomberg.net, Steven Crabill, Pierre Paulden

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