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CN responds to critics of its offer to KCS

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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(Photo: Paul Chieson for Canadian Press)

Canadian National Railways (CN) said Wednesday that two of its shareholders, billionaire Bill Gates and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, are backing its $ 33.6 billion bid for US railroad company Kansas City Southern (KCS). ).

At an investor conference, CN CEO Jean-Jacques Roest said that most of its shareholders are excited about the merger despite concerns raised by the fifth shareholder, British firm TCI Fund Management.

He emphasized public support for Cascade Investment, which is controlled by Bill Gates and the director of Quebec socks.

Kim Tomassin, Caisse’s investment director, said in a letter that she believes the deal has the potential “not only to create jobs at the Montreal company, but also to open new markets for Quebec export companies. And stimulate the overall economic recovery.”

La Caisse is the ninth largest investor in the CN, holding 1.7% of Montreal Railroad shares, according to financial data company Refinitiv.

Cascade Investment is the largest with a 14.3% stake. The TCI Fund has a stake of 2.9%.

“This acquisition is in line with CDPQ’s objectives to support Quebec companies in their international growth and the transition to a low carbon economy,” writes Ms. Thomasin.

On Tuesday, TCI Fund, also the largest shareholder of Canadian Pacific Railroad (CP), urged CN’s board of directors to abandon its bid to KCS due to the large termination fees that CN will have to pay. It has not been approved by the US railway regulatory authorities.

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