STB noted the move is considered "a minor transaction as defined by our regulations."
The board noted that the merger "application is complete" and that its initial determination suggested that the merger clearly will not have any anticompetitive effects." STB cautioned, "The Board makes this determination based solely on the evidence presented in the application. The Board stresses that this is not a final determination, and its finding may be rebutted by filings and evidence submitted into the record for this proceeding."
Those wishing to comment on the proposal "must file, no later than Sept. 19, 2012, a notice of intent to participate. All comments, protests, requests for conditions, and any other evidence and argument in opposition to the primary application and related filings, including filings by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), must be filed by Oct. 15, 2012," STB said.
Greenwich, Conn.-based GWI announced its intention to absorb Jacksonville, Fla.-based RailAmerica on July 23, in a cash transaction initially valued at about $1.4 billion. GWI said the acquisition will combine the two largest short line and regional rail operators in North America, strengthening GWI's ability to serve its industrial customers and Class I railroad partners.