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New CFO for Tranz Rail.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Tranz Rail Holdings Limited (Nasdaq: TNZRY; New Zealand: TRH) today reported it has appointed Mark Bloomer as its new Chief Financial Officer.

Mr. Bloomer has a background in accountancy and international transport and will take up his new appointment on February 1 this year.

Mark Bloomer is 40, married, with three children. He was educated in England and qualified there as a Chartered Accountant before working in London for accounting firms Westcott Wilson and Peat Marwick Mitchell. In 1984, he moved to Australia to join Coopers & Lybrand in Sydney where he became a Senior Audit Group Manager. In 1991 he joined Wilhelmsen Lines; first as General Manager, Finance and Administration in Sydney and subsequently as Vice President and CFO in Baltimore in the United States. He returned to Sydney in early 1997 to the role of Finance Director for the Blue Star Group Pty Ltd. He remained in this position until joining Tranz Rail.

Mr. Bloomer will replace Ronald Russ, who has been with Tranz Rail since the New Zealand rail system was bought from the government in mid 1993 by a consortium comprising the United States railroad company Wisconsin Central and investment companies Fay Richwhite and Berkshire Partners.

Mr. Russ is returning to the United States where he will take up a senior position with Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation. He will be working on new acquisition opportunities for that company and will be providing managerial support across the group of companies in which Wisconsin Central has an interest.

Announcing the appointment, Tranz Rail's Managing Director, Francis Small, said early advice of Mr. Russ's move had allowed for a detailed international search and he was delighted this had produced someone of Mr. Bloomer's calibre. It also made possible an appropriate hand-over period that would ensure a smooth transition.

Dr. Small paid tribute to Mr. Russ, whose personal skills and background in transport finance and operations had played an important part in the transition from Crown entity to public company.

"Ron played an extremely important part in our move to become a listed company on share markets in New Zealand and the United States and in the successful public offerings," said Dr. Small.

"He has also driven our programmes to achieve Year 2000 compliance and the financial reengineering that has greatly improved efficiency in many internal processes as well as our partnerships with both suppliers and customers."

"I am delighted that we have been able to attract someone with the experience and commercial skills of Mark to continue the work that Ron has begun," said Dr. Small. "I believe his background and talents will be of particular value to the company as it consolidates its position as New Zealand's leading transportation company."

Shares of Tranz Rail Holdings Limited are publicly traded on the New Zealand Stock Exchange under the symbol TRH and the U.S. American Depositary Shares (ADS) of the Company are traded on the Nasdaq National Market System under the symbol TNZRY (each ADS is equivalent to three (3) shares). The Company operates the only commercial railroad in New Zealand, offering an integrated network of rail, road, air and sea distribution and logistics management services that provides customers with transport solutions in the Australasian market place and passenger travel experiences in New Zealand. Freight and passenger services utilise 3,900 route kilometres (2,400 miles) of track, approximately 380 locomotives, 6,400 wagons (freight cars), 160 carriages (passenger railcars), 170 self propelled passenger railcars, 3,000 shipping containers and three roll-on roll-off ferries between the North and South Islands. The Company holds a 27% equity interest in Australian Transport Network Limited which operates freight services in Tasmania, Australia, utilising 722 route kilometres (451 miles) of track, 51 locomotives and approximately 729 wagons (freight cars). (http://www.tranzrail.co.nz)
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 22, 1999
Words:636
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