Mexican conglomerate buys FEC Railway for $2.1 billion

Grupo Mexico, a mining and rail conglomerate, is buying the Florida East Coast Railway Holdings Corp. for $2.1 billion under an agreement announced Tuesday.

The purchase will enable the Mexican company to expand its U.S. freight transport business on Florida East Coast Railway’s 351 miles of tracks stretching from Miami to Jacksonville. Grupo Mexico has existing rail operations in Texas.

The transaction will be financed by $350 million in Grupo Mexico funds and $1.75 billion in debt, according to Grupo Mexico.

The sale of Jacksonville-based FEC Railway, which is owned by Fortress Investment Group, will have no impact on the company’s other holdings — including the Brightline passenger train operation in South Florida.

The investment group also owns Florida East Coast Industries, the parent company of All Aboard Florida, developer and owner of the Brightlight passenger train system being built from Miami to West Palm Beach and Orlando.

“The sale of the Florida East Coast Railway does not impact Brightline,” said a spokeswoman, AnneMarie Mathews. “Brightline is a separate company that has dual ownership of the corridor and the right to operate passenger service.”