BRX Purchases Pioneer

Written by Andrew Corselli
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Pioneer will be led by BRX partner and industry veteran Alex Yeros as its new CEO.

Related Fund Management, Brookhaven Rail Partners and Stephens Capital Partners LLC have acquired Pioneer Railcorp, a railroad holding company that owns short line railroads and several other railroad-related businesses.

BRX Transportation Holdings, LLC—a partnership between Related Infrastructure, a subsidiary of Related Fund Management, Brookhaven Rail Partners and Stephens Capital Partners, LLC—was formed “to purchase Pioneer as a platform investment and intends to invest additional capital to upgrade Pioneer’s existing infrastructure and grow Pioneer’s franchise through industrial development and the expansion of services to its customers. BRX also intends to pursue the acquisition of additional short line railroad companies.”

Related said that Pioneer will be led by BRX partner and industry veteran Alex Yeros as its new Chief Executive Officer, Ross Grantham as Chief Operating Officer and Carrie Genualdi as Chief Financial Officer. Yeros has three decades of experience acquiring and growing railroads and other rail-related businesses, having served as Chief Investment Officer and other industrial development roles at OmniTRAX. Genualdi comes to Pioneer after spending 10 years at Genesee & Wyoming as a Director of Finance, and Grantham has 20-plus years’ experience working in overseeing operations at both Class I and short lines.

Shares of Pioneer common stock were converted into the right to receive $18.81 per share effective upon the closing of the transaction, Related noted. Arnold & Porter acted as legal counsel to BRX in the transaction. BMO served as financial advisor and Briggs and Morgan, P.A. served as legal advisor to Pioneer.

“Short line railroads play a key role in our country’s transportation infrastructure and are critical to the national and global economy,” said Andrew Right, Managing Partner, Related Infrastructure. “Pioneer, operating across 12 states, services a diverse set of customers with a wide array of cargo from agriculture to finished products. We are excited to work with Brookhaven and the talented team at Pioneer to invest in the business, to provide even better service to our customers and to further grow the business by adding new customers who can benefit from the reliability and cost advantages of rail transport and by driving expansion across the platform.”

“We are excited to partner with Related and Stephens on this great opportunity,” Yeros said. “Pioneer provides us a solid foundation for growth with experienced employees and a strong and diverse customer base. We look forward to engaging with all of Pioneer’s customers to enhance our service relationships and explore opportunities for growth and efficiency. Pioneer gives us a platform to implement our proven industrial development strategies that create investment, tax base and jobs, fostering the economic vitality of the communities in which we operate. We also congratulate Pioneer’s board of directors, management and shareholders on building a strong business and coming together to effectuate this exciting transaction.”

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