MONTREAL and KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Canadian National Railway and Kansas City Southern announced this week that they have taken the next step on their path to combine to create the premier railway for the 21st century.
CN and KCS today jointly filed with the Surface Transportation Board a renewed motion for approval of its voting trust that outlines the case for approval of the voting trust to advance the CN-KCS merger.
The filing highlights that the voting trust protects against premature control of KCS and protects KCS’ financial health, that CN remains financially sound, the substantial benefits to be gained from the transaction by customers and the nearly 1,100 stakeholders who have already supported the transaction.
As part of the application, CN is committing to divesting KCS’ 70-mile line between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, which is less than 0.7 percent of the approximately 27,000 route-miles the two companies operate.
This commitment eliminates the sole area of overlap between the CN and KCS networks, thereby making the combination an end-to-end transaction.
This commitment, plus CN’s multiple other pro-competitive commitments, including keeping existing gateways open on commercially reasonable terms, addresses any competitive concerns.
“We believe our early commitment to eliminating the minimal rail overlap and to laying out the case for a CN-KCS combination should allow the STB to approve our voting trust,” said JJ Ruest, president and chief executive officer of CN. “A trust is an essential step so KCS shareholders can receive the full value of their shares while the STB considers our case for a combined, end-to-end rail network and the significant public benefits of connecting the continent. This combination will promote growth and compete with the trucking industry for long-haul movements. It offers more choice for rail customers, port operators, employees, stakeholders and communities.”
Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, president and chief executive officer of KCS, added; “Combining KCS with CN is compelling for our customers, employees, shareholders and the local communities in which we operate. We urge the STB to fully consider the benefits of this combination, and to respect KCS’ judgment about its preferred merger partner, so that we can realize the tremendous public interest advantages of the CN-KCS partnership on behalf of our stakeholders, many of whom have expressed overwhelming support.”