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Clarification From Connex Re: TranzScenic


MELBOURNE, December 7/MediaNet International-AsiaNet/ --


Recent media reports infer that West Coast Railway is involved in the purchase and ongoing operation of the TranzScenic business. This is not correct. West Coast Railway is the registered trading name of The Victorian Railway Company Pty Ltd, an Australian registered company owned 50% by Connex and 50% by Mr Donald Gibson and Mr Gary McDonald. Connex purchased its 50% stake in West Coast Railway in August 2001. Neither The Victorian Railway Company Pty Ltd (West Coast Railway) nor Connex is directly or indirectly involved in the acquisition or ongoing operation of the TranzScenic business.

It has been reported that Connex pulled out of the TranzScenic deal after it 'had a change of heart' and 'took a direct stake in West Coast itself'. This is not correct. In reality, Connex bought a 50% interest in West Coast Railway in August 2001. Following that negotiations continued in relation to a possible purchase of an interest in the TranzScenic business involving Connex, Donald Gibson, Gary McDonald (as individuals) and TranzRail.

Connex withdrew from the TranzScenic negotiation process early in November 2001 based mainly on its re-assessment of the revenue projections for the TranzScenic business having regard to the proposed price following the events of 11 September 2001. Connex believed that tourist-based businesses in Australia and New Zealand would struggle as a result of the 11 September 2001 events and the economic consequences that will follow.

Donald Gibson, Gary McDonald and TranzRail then subsequently proceeded with the deal for the sale and purchase of TranzScenic.

Connex is still keen to pursue business opportunities in New Zealand, in particular in urban transportation in major cities in New Zealand.

Connex is one of the world's leading private operators in the passenger transport sector, providing urban, suburban, inter-city and regional passenger services on buses, trains, trams and ferries. Connex operates transport services in Melbourne (trains), Sydney (mono-rail, lightrail and buses) and Perth (buses).


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