* Ross considers investing in rail, real estate, casinos
* Says rail industry on the rise
NEW YORK May 17 Billionaire investor Wilbur
Ross on Monday said his private equity firm was considering
investments in rail cars, real estate and casinos.
Ross' private equity firm WL Ross & Co bought into
railroad equipment supplier Greenbrier Cos (GBX.N) in 2009, and
the two teamed up to buy a portfolio of nearly 4,000 railcars
late last month.
"We're looking to buy more rail cars," Ross told Reuters on
Monday, noting that there are plenty of rail car owners that
are in or nearing financial distress.
In a separate interview, he told Reuters Insider that he
expects the sector to perform well.
"Back in last summer a third of all rail cars were sitting
idle," he said. "That's been cut in half now."
Ross said he was also interested in investing in other
segments of the rail industry, including supply, as well as
real estate related services like real estate brokerage,
property management and mortgage origination.
In September, Ross told Reuters that he was actively
looking at investing in the casino sector.
He said he was still looking at casino deals, but that the
right investment had not yet presented itself.
"The industry is having great, great difficulties --the
traffic figures are down, the handles are down, and the room
occupancy is down," he told Reuters Insider. "We're still
working on it. We identify areas that we think have promise,
but if the values don't come to where we need them, then we
don't do anything."
(Reporting by Michael Erman, Megan Davies and Jennifer Rogers;
editing by Carol Bishopric)