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Rail News: Kansas City Southern

STB sets timetable for CN-KCS voting trust review


The Surface Transportation Board (STB) yesterday issued a timetable for reviewing the voting trust in connection with the proposed merger between CN and Kansas City Southern.

The timetable calls for the Class Is to file specific documents by June 14 and requires comments on the voting trust agreement by June 28, with replies due July 6.

CN and KCS officials say their proposed voting trust is "identical" to the trust approved in Canadian Pacific's proposed acquisition of KCS. Earlier this year, CP and KCS had reached an agreement for a merger, but KCS pulled out of that agreement after receiving a "superior proposal" from CN.

"As CN and KCS explained in their May 26, 2021, motion for voting trust approval, the CN-KCS combination offers multiple public interest benefits, including seamless single-owner, single-operator service, new and faster routes, significant environmental protections and increased supply chain efficiency," CN and KCS said in a press release.

Meanwhile, CP officials said the company will file comments by June 28 that explain "why the public interest costs of CN's proposed voting trust outweigh the non-existent benefits." CP remains "confident" that the STB will ultimately reject CN's proposal to use a voting trust in its KCS merger plan.

"CN's arguments in favor of a trust amount to the claim that CN and KCS should be able to decide what is in the public interest based on which railroad is offering more money to acquire KCS – that argument elevates private interests over the public interest," CP officials said in a press release.

The STB's decision setting the timetable may be read here.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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