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CN and Kansas City Southern yesterday announced that the Surface Transportation Board's (STB) comment period regarding the companies’ application for a voting-trust approval has closed.
The plain vanilla voting trust proposed by CN and KCS, which is identical to the one approved by the STB for Canadian Pacific, meets the test for approval because: it prevents premature control of KCS; allows KCS to maintain independence during the STB’s review of the ultimate combination of CN and KCS; and protects KCS’ financial health during this period, CN and KCS officials said in a press release.
The Class Is noted that 1,700 letters of support for their combination have been filed with the STB, including 967 specifically requesting STB approval of the CN voting trust. Also, letters of support have come from three governors, 28 mayors,11 members of Congress and a number of shippers, rail labor leaders, business organizations and short-line partners.
Consistent with the timeline that the STB has set for reviewing the voting trust, CN and KCS will review all comments submitted and file their response by July 6.
"The proposed combination has received broad-based support from across the CN and KCS stakeholder network because the plain vanilla voting trust makes very clear that a CN-KCS combination is in the public interest and will prevent unlawful control of KCS prior to the STB's final merger approval," said KCS President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Ottensmeyer.