Mar 12, 2019

Freight railroad owner with $5 billion market cap considers sale

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Genesee & Wyoming (NYSE: GWR), a Darien, Conn.-based freight railroad owner and leasor with a market cap of nearly $5 billion, is considering a sale of all or part of itself, per Bloomberg. Potential suitors include Brookfield Asset Management.

Why it matters: This reflects how railroads have been winning back market share from trucking companies, which have been stymied by driver shortages and new driver regulations, plus the glut of capital raised for infrastructure funds (i.e., prospective buyers).

  • Pricing: The company's stock is up 16.9% so far in 2019, although over half of that came after yesterday's Bloomberg report. That said, it remains below trading levels from just last fall.

The bottom line: "Genesee & Wyoming has a history of deals with private investors. In 2012, Carlyle Group LP agreed to invest as much as $800 million in the company to enable it to acquire RailAmerica. In 2016, Genesee & Wyoming bought Glencore Rail and concurrently sold a 49 percent stake in that business to ... Macquarie Infrastructure." — Gillian Tan & Scott Deveau, Bloomberg

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.