By: Ismael Rodriguez
Grupo Mexico, a mining and rail conglomerate, agreed to buy Florida East Coast Railway Holdings Corporation for $2.1 billion on Tuesday, acquiring 100 percent of the company’s shares and assuming its debt.
The transaction, upon approval by regulatory authorities, will be financed with $350 million in Grupo Mexico funds and $1.75 billion in debt, according to what Grupo Mexico Transportes told the press, will back the transaction.
The sale will also place All Aboard Florida, a subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries and parent of Brightline, the express inter-city train service that promises to link Miami to Orlando in record time, in the hands of Grupo Mexico.
Brightline is expected to reintroduce passenger rail service to Florida, where the Florida East Coast Railway, founded in 1895 by Henry Flagler and John D. Rockefeller, discontinued this service nearly five decades ago. The service could cost around $3 billion, excluding a $600 million in-land easements already obtained, according to court documents.
The project connects two of the state’s most prominent commerce and tourism locations, boosting tourism dollars and real estate development along the 235-mile spread of land.
If the deal is approved, it will have no impact on the opening-date of Brightline, which is currently slated to begin its operations this summer.