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News Alert: CN makes nearly $34 billion bid for Kansas City Southern

Offer would create a railroad spanning Canada, US and Mexico

A CN train heads to its next destination. (Photo: CN)

Canadian railway CN (NYSE: CNI) has offered to acquire Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) in a cash-and-stock transaction worth $33.7 billion, or $325 per share.

CN rival Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP) last month announced plans to acquire Kansas City Southern (KCS) for $29 billion. 

CN said Tuesday morning the offer provides “greater value and certainty” to KCS shareholders. CN also will seek to establish a voting trust to acquire KCS, which is what CP was planning on doing for its merger with KCS.

“Under the terms of the superior proposal made today to KCS’ board of directors, following closing into a voting trust, KCS shareholders will receive $200 in cash and 1.059 shares of CN common stock for each KCS common share,” CN said in a release. “Based on yesterday’s closing price of CN shares, CN’s proposal is valued at $325 per KCS share. This represents an implied premium of 45% when compared to KCS’ unaffected closing stock price on March 19, 2021, and a 21% improvement over the current value of KCS’ agreement with Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (TSX: CP, NYSE: CP) (CP).”

CN already has a T-shaped network that extends to both Canadian coasts as well as to the U.S. Gulf Coast. A merger with KCS would provide access to KCS’ operations in Mexico.

Said CN President and CEO JJ Ruest, “CN is ideally positioned to combine with KCS to create a company with broader reach and greater scale and to seamlessly connect more customers to rail hubs and ports in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. CN and KCS have highly complementary networks with limited overlap that will enable them to accelerate growth in single-owner, single-operator, end-to-end service across North America. With safer service and better fuel efficiency on key routes from Mexico through the heartland of America, the result will be a safer, faster, cleaner and stronger railway.”

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.