RDC, iCON Form IAIS Partnership

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

Railroad Development Corp., the Pittsburgh-based railway investment and management company with interests in railways and related businesses in the Americas and Europe, on Dec. 31, 2020 entered into a strategic partnership with iCON Infrastructure LLC, an independent investment firm focused on investments in core infrastructure businesses across North America and Europe. iCON Infrastructure Partners V will acquire a 40% stake in Class II Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS). RDC will remain majority owner of IAIS and together with iCON V “will continue to support its strong management team and dedicated workforce in providing best-in-class service to IAIS’ diverse customer base.”

IAIS operates in the agro-industrial heartland of the U.S. Its main line runs between Chicago and Omaha, with a branch line to Peoria, connecting with each of North America’s seven Class I railroads, a number of short line railroads, and the Mississippi and Illinois River systems. IAIS’ customer base includes agriculture, construction, and consumer products. Key commodities transported include corn, soybeans, agricultural products such as ethanol and animal feed, construction stone, steel, sand and intermodal containers.

IAIS was formed in 1984, with RDC acquiring a minority interest in 1991 and 100% ownership since 2004.

“Recognized as a leader in safety and growth, IAIS’ location and independence provide competitive options for its customers, and the railroad serves an important role in industrial development for its territory,” said RDC and IAIS Chairman Henry Posner III. “RDC’s business model is based on partnerships, a model that originates from the business acumen of my father, Henry Posner Jr. In this case, we are fortunate to have found a partner that shares our culture. Together, we are well-positioned to advance the interests of the customers and communities we serve, and the interests of our industry as part of one of the world’s great network businesses. IAIS will now increasingly serve as a platform for growth. This can take many forms, ranging from partnerships with other railroad companies to industrial development and investment in infrastructure such as intermodal facilities and river ports. We see in iCON a partner with a global reach and a focus on infrastructure, with resources that complement our own.  We welcome iCON as a partner and appreciate this vote of confidence in our quest to earn the position of the most respected railway company in North America.”

“All of us at IAIS are pleased with our new partnership with iCON Infrastructure, and see this as a tremendous opportunity to further our mutual interests in safety and growth,” said IAIS President and CEO Joe Parsons. “When we combine the IAIS network and customer base with iCON’s resources and global experience, I am confident that we will achieve significant growth and be better positioned for future opportunities.”

“Over the years we have known RDC, we have been continually impressed with its commitment to driving growth at its investments, while requiring the highest safety standards and customer service levels,” said iCON Infrastructure Director Rory Hunter. “Through this partnership, we are excited to support Joe, Henry and the broader team in achieving our shared objective of continuing the strong growth trajectory of IAIS.”

Investments owned by funds advised by iCON Infrastructure Partners include interests in Mountaineer Gas Company and TruVista Communications in the U.S.; Capstone Power and Vista Services in Canada; Verbrugge International and Combined Cargo Terminals in the Netherlands; Gruppo Spinelli, EGEA and Eco Eridania in Italy; Hannover Airport and USG in Germany; Nua Healthcare Services in Ireland; Arcadia Renovables in Spain; and Bristol Water, Gridlink, SELCHP, Choice Care Group and Green Recovery Projects in the U.K. iCON Infrastructure is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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