UPDATE 1-Greenbrier, WL Ross buy $230 mln railcar portfolio

Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:21am EDT

* Firms acquire 4,000 railcars

* Greenbrier says deal to add to earnings

April 30 (Reuters) - Railroad equipment supplier Greenbrier Cos (GBX.N) and private equity firm WL Ross & Co said they have jointly acquired a lease portfolio of nearly 4,000 railcars valued at about $230 million.

The firms acquired the portfolio through a newly-formed venture, WLR-GBX, to be owned by affiliates of WL Ross for the purpose of acquiring railcar assets in North America and managed by Greenbrier.

WLR-GBX intends to seek additional opportunities to acquire railcar lease portfolios utilizing this structure, Greenbrier said.

Greenbrier, which counts activist investor Carl Icahn as one of its stakeholders, expects the deal to add to its earnings.

Last year, Greenbrier received a $75 million three-year term loan from WL Ross and added founder Wilbur Ross to its board. [ID:nBNG80328]

"The company is well-positioned for the expected rebound in demand for freight cars and the long-term growth resulting from rail's fuel efficiency compared with motor freight," Ross said in a statement.

Shares of Greenbrier closed at $17.05 Thursday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by A.Ananthalakshmi in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)

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