Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sale of the Columbia Basin Railway?

From the "Columbia Basin Herald."

January 21, 2011

MOSES LAKE - The two brothers owning the Columbia Basin Railroad are involved in an internal management dispute and dividing up their railroad and real estate companies.

Eric Temple, vice president of Columbia Basin Railroad Co., made an offer to his older brother and company president, Brig Temple, to buy his portion of three of the business's railroads, according to a report Eric Temple gave to the Clark County Railroad Advisory Board.

The other railroads are the Central Washington Railroad and the Portland Vancouver Junction Railroad.

Eric Temple, of Bellevue, said this week they are going through an evaluation process to determine the fair market value of their seven railroad and real estate companies.

Eric has the first right of refusal and a Washington, D.C., attorney is handling the sale, according to the board documents.

If Eric buys his brother's portion of their businesses, he doesn't expect many staff changes.

"I anticipate growth," Eric said. "The job of a CEO is to add shareholder value."

He described their issues as "internal disputes" going on for five years or longer.

He claims the situation cost him millions of dollars, resulting in the decline of their rail car shipping and employee layoffs.

He also said he loved his brother and was sorry it had come to this.

Eric said he's been trying to push the process on for more than a year.

He said he gave the report about the company's status to the advisory board because the private sale is still a public process and wanted to alert the board and Clark County before they received phone calls about the sale.

"Any potential purchaser will want to talk to Grant County and the Port of Moses Lake," he said. "It will necessarily become somewhat public."

Brig Temple, of Yakima, said he had no comment.

"I really can't discuss what goes on between my brother and I in an open forum," Brig said.

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