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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Sen. Manchin wants Senate review of CP-NS merger proposal

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) earlier this week called for a Senate investigation into Canadian Pacific's plan to acquire Norfolk Southern Corp., a transaction that he said would profit Wall Street investors while costing jobs in his home state.

Sen. Manchin

Manchin wants CP's attempted takeover of NS to be reviewed by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, the senator announced in a news release issued Tuesday.

He said he believed CP's merger attempt is troubling because of what he called a history of job-cutting at the Class I. He cited the 2011 proxy fight led by Bill Ackman, hedge fund manager at Pershing Square Capital Management and one of the company's largest shareholders, which resulted in new board members and the hiring of E. Hunter Harrison as chief executive officer. Since then, CP has eliminated 6,000 jobs, including 1,800 in 2015. And last week, Harrison said during an earnings call with analysts that the railroad would trim another 1,000 jobs this year, Manchin noted.

"This merger creates real and present dangers to hardworking people of West Virginia," the senator said. "I'm calling for a Commerce Committee investigation into this merger because I want to ask Hunter Harrison what they are going to invest in, what they are going to build, and how they are going to help the people and the communities of our state."

NS currently employs 990 people and supports 430 retirees in West Virginia, according to Manchin's office.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/28/2016