CN’s efforts to lobby for public support of a merger between itself and Kansas City Southern (KCS) come as the Surface Transportation Board (STB) is accepting public comments on CN’s voting trust application through the end of the month. CN and KCS are seeking to establish a voting trust as one of the first steps of the merger process, and the STB is charged with reviewing whether the merger is in the public interest for the industry and for rail shippers.
CN said Thursday that it and KCS have seen 100 additional letters in support of the merger, bringing the total number of letters of support to more than 1,500. The railway also said that 90 of the letters filed Thursday support CN’s and KCS’ request that STB approve the voting trust agreement.
According to CN, those submitting support letters include U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl, R-Ala., the Jerseyville Economic Development Council of Illinois and the Port of Gulfport in Mississippi.
“[Ninety] of the letters being filed today support CN’s and KCS’s request that the Board approve their proposed voting trust agreement. Many of these supporters express their view that the proposed CN voting trust is identical to that proposed by CP which the Board has approved,” CN said in its letter to STB. “These supporters respectfully urge the Board to grant approval of the CN voting trust so that the transaction may be evaluated on a level playing field.”
Also supporting board approval of the CN-KCS voting trust was a chapter of SMART-Transportation Division (SMART-TD) representing conductors on the Wisconsin Central, a subsidiary of CN.
SMART-TD’s national leadership had asked STB earlier this week to reject CN’s voting trust proposal.
“The approval of Canadian National’s voting trust will allow Kansas City Southern shareholders to make a fully informed decision when placing their votes to approve the transaction, and upon approval, to receive the full value of their shares while the STB considers Canadian National’s case for a combined, end-to-end rail network,” said the Saturday letter from K.J. Flashberger, general chairman for the SMART-TD chapter representing Wisconsin Central.
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