Patriot Rail Reaches Agreement to Acquire Short Line Operator Salt Lake Garfield & Western Railway

SLGW in transit

Photo by James Belmont

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. and SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 28, 2020 — Patriot Rail Company LLC (Patriot), a leading U.S. operator of short line and regional freight railroads, rail services, and integrated port logistics companies, today announced it has entered an agreement to acquire short line operator Salt Lake Garfield & Western Railway (SLGW) and its related entities Caballero LLC and Caballero 2 LLC, storage and transload service providers.

Financial terms were not disclosed.  The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

“The agreement aligns with Patriot’s vision of future growth as a premier service provider in the U.S. short line railway industry and complements the Patriot portfolio,” said John Fenton, CEO of Jacksonville-based Patriot.  “SLGW provides premier service to its customers and we are honored to carry that legacy forward.  CEO Mariana Mavor and her team have done a tremendous job expanding capacity and finding creative solutions for shippers.”

Salt Lake City-based SLGW has added both track and transload services over the past few years and has plans to expand in 2021.  “The state of Utah is thriving with growth projects. Patriot is excited to participate in these initiatives and we look forward to the evolving opportunities,” Fenton said.

“As a family operated business, SLGW has grown, especially over the last five years,” Mavor said.  “This partnership with Patriot Rail affords us more access to expertise, resources and capital to serve the growing needs of our expanding customer base.  We couldn’t be more thrilled about the prospects of a ‘bigger and better’ SLGW under the Patriot umbrella.”

In continuous operation for over 125 years, SLGW currently handles more than 6,000 loaded railcars annually within its 26-mile line.  Its location, in the heart of Salt Lake City’s industrial corridor, is at the center of the region’s logistics.  Neighboring the recently redeveloped and expanded Salt Lake International Airport, the line runs adjacent to two major interstates and connects with the Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway.  In 2017, SLGW was awarded Andeavor’s Supplier Recognition Award for Innovation and Value.

The state of Utah supports several business growth initiatives including a Mega Site Program and an inland port authority and district comprising over 4,000 acres of developable land, known as the Northwest Quadrant. 

SLGW represents the first bolt-on acquisition by Patriot since First Sentier Investors (FSI), a leading global investor in infrastructure, acquired Patriot in October 2019.

“We’re delighted to support Patriot’s expansion and continue to see exciting opportunities for the company’s growth in North America,” said John Ma, North America head of the direct infrastructure team at First Sentier Investors.  “The rail sector has been resilient this year, demonstrating the essential role it plays in enabling supply chains and keeping businesses moving.”

Patriot Rail Company LLC is owned by Sydney, Australia-based global asset manager First Sentier Investors.

About Salt Lake Garfield & Western Railway

The Salt Lake Garfield & Western Railway Company (SLGW) was formed in 1891 with local and regional rail lines serving the Salt Lake City valley.  In continuous operations for over 125 years, today SLGW is a Class III short line railroad company that serves the local rail transfer, rail storage and rail-served warehouse requirements of a wide range of customers who are moving commodities into and out of the Greater Salt Lake City area.

About First Sentier Investors

First Sentier Investors manages US$157 billion in assets (as of September 30, 2020) on behalf of institutional investors, pension funds, wholesale distributors, investment platforms, financial advisers and their clients worldwide.  The firm operates as a standalone global investment management business with offices across Europe, the Americas, and Asia Pacific.  First Sentier Investors’ expertise spans a range of asset classes and specialist investment sectors focused on delivering sustainable investment success based on responsible investment principles.  Formerly Colonial First State Global Asset Management, the firm was acquired from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in August 2019 by Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.