Amtrak Files with the STB in Opposition to CN’s Use of a Voting Trust
June 28, 2021
Calls CN’s Baton Rouge to New Orleans line divestiture proposal “extraordinarily harmful” to future passenger rail service in Louisiana
CALGARY – June 28, 2021 – Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (TSX: CP) (NYSE: CP) (“CP”) announced today that Amtrak, operator of intercity passenger rail service across the United States, has submitted comments urging the Surface Transportation Board (“STB”) to reject Canadian National’s (“CN”) use of a voting trust in its proposed combination with Kansas City Southern (“KCS”).
In its filing made today, Amtrak said CN’s proposed divestiture of the Baton Rouge to New Orleans line “creates a major new impediment to giving the 2.2 million residents along the New Orleans-to-Baton Rouge corridor the Amtrak service they deserve and have long needed.”
Amtrak also said, “CN’s ‘divestiture’ proposal is the equivalent of a homeowner selling their house but reserving the right to continue to live in it.”
“…There is nothing ‘clean’ about replacing a single freight rail operator on the KCS Baton Rouge Line with two railroads, each with the right to operate their own local trains. The resulting duplication of train services and switching operations would make all rail services less reliable, and unnecessarily consume track capacity that could otherwise be utilized for restoration of passenger rail service.”
The filing continues, “As the Board has repeatedly and consistently stated, conditions imposed on rail mergers must be ‘operationally feasible’ and produce ‘net public benefits.’ CN’s proposed ‘divestiture’ flunks both tests.”
On most of its routes, Amtrak trains run on tracks operated by the nation’s largest freight railroads, including Amtrak trains on CN routes from Chicago and through Illinois to New Orleans that have a history of operating challenges and poor on-time performance.
CN has suggested divesting the KCS Baton Rouge-New Orleans line to a smaller freight operator or even that the line be purchased by the state of Louisiana, which would take on the expense of those complex operations.
With a CP combination with KCS, all of that complexity and potential taxpayer risk is removed. CP is supportive of working with all stakeholders to introduce intercity passenger rail service between New Orleans and Baton Rouge an outcome with far more capacity and operational flexibility, and less risk to Louisiana taxpayers.
CP has consistently received an A rating from Amtrak in its annual host railroad report card recognizing its industry-leading on-time performance record. CP is the first Class I railroad to complete 100 percent certification of its Amtrak schedules.
Public Comment Period for CN Voting Trust Ends Today
In line with the public comment period, CP plans to file comments today, explaining why the public interest costs of CN’s proposed voting trust outweigh the non-existent benefits. This public comment period, and the STB’s subsequent deliberations, will determine the course of competition for U.S. railroading and North American commerce for the next 150 years.
Now is the time for stakeholders to voice their concerns about whether CN should be able to lock in its anti-competitive plan to buy KCS via a voting trust. Stakeholders can express their concerns directly to the STB by filing before midnight today.
Importantly, the STB has already approved CP’s use of a voting trust and affirmed KCS’ waiver from the new rail merger rules it adopted in 2001 because a CP-KCS combination is truly end-to-end, pro-competitive, and the only viable Class 1 combination.
As previously announced, CP is continuing to pursue its application process to acquire KCS so that the pro-competitive CP-KCS combination can be reviewed by the STB and implemented without undue delay, in the event KCS’ agreement with CN is terminated or CN is otherwise unable to acquire control of KCS.
For more information on the benefits of a CP-KCS combination and the risks that a CN-KCS transaction would pose to the railway industry and North America, visit FutureForFreight.com.
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND INFORMATION
This news release includes certain forward-looking statements and forward looking information (collectively, FLI). FLI is typically identified by words such as “anticipate”, “expect”, “project”, “estimate”, “forecast”, “plan”, “intend”, “target”, “believe”, “likely” and similar words suggesting future outcomes or statements regarding an outlook. All statements other than statements of historical fact may be FLI.
Although we believe that the FLI is reasonable based on the information available today and processes used to prepare it, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and you are cautioned against placing undue reliance on FLI. By its nature, FLI involves a variety of assumptions, which are based upon factors that may be difficult to predict and that may involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results, levels of activity and achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these FLI, including, but not limited to, the following: changes in business strategies and strategic opportunities; estimated future dividends; financial strength and flexibility; debt and equity market conditions, including the ability to access capital markets on favourable terms or at all; cost of debt and equity capital; potential changes in the CP share price; the ability of management of CP, its subsidiaries and affiliates to execute key priorities; general North American and global social, economic, political, credit and business conditions; risks associated with agricultural production such as weather conditions and insect populations; the availability and price of energy commodities; the effects of competition and pricing pressures, including competition from other rail carriers, trucking companies and maritime shippers in Canada and the U.S.; North American and global economic growth; industry capacity; shifts in market demand; changes in commodity prices and commodity demand; uncertainty surrounding timing and volumes of commodities being shipped via CP; inflation; geopolitical instability; changes in laws, regulations and government policies, including regulation of rates; changes in taxes and tax rates; potential increases in maintenance and operating costs; changes in fuel prices; disruption in fuel supplies; uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation; compliance with environmental regulations; labour disputes; changes in labour costs and labour difficulties; risks and liabilities arising from derailments; transportation of dangerous goods; timing of completion of capital and maintenance projects; sufficiency of CP’s budgeted capital expenditures in carrying out CP’s business plan; services and infrastructure; the satisfaction by third parties of their obligations to CP; currency and interest rate fluctuations; exchange rates; effects of changes in market conditions and discount rates on the financial position of pension plans and investments; trade restrictions or other changes to international trade arrangements; the effects of current and future multinational trade agreements on the level of trade among Canada and the U.S.; climate change and the market and regulatory responses to climate change; anticipated in-service dates; success of hedging activities; operational performance and reliability; regulatory and legislative decisions and actions; public opinion; various events that could disrupt operations, including severe weather, such as droughts, floods, avalanches and earthquakes, and cybersecurity attacks, as well as security threats and governmental response to them, and technological changes; acts of terrorism, war or other acts of violence or crime or risk of such activities; insurance coverage limitations; and the pandemic created by the outbreak of COVID-19 and resulting effects on CP’s business, operating results, cash flows and/or financial condition, as well as resulting effects on economic conditions, the demand environment for logistics requirements and energy prices, restrictions imposed by public health authorities or governments, fiscal and monetary policy responses by governments and financial institutions, and disruptions to global supply chains.
We caution that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive and is made as of the date hereof. Additional information about these and other assumptions, risks and uncertainties can be found in reports and filings by CP with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators. Reference should be made to “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Forward-Looking Statements” in CP’s annual and interim reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q. Due to the interdependencies and correlation of these factors, as well as other factors, the impact of any one assumption, risk or uncertainty on FLI cannot be determined with certainty.
Except to the extent required by law, we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise any FLI, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. All FLI in this news release is expressly qualified in its entirety by these cautionary statements.
ABOUT CANADIAN PACIFIC
Canadian Pacific (TSX: CP) (NYSE: CP) is a transcontinental railway in Canada and the United States with direct links to major ports on the west and east coasts. CP provides North American customers a competitive rail service with access to key markets in every corner of the globe. CP is growing with its customers, offering a suite of freight transportation services, logistics solutions and supply chain expertise. Visit www.cpr.ca to see the rail advantages of CP. CP-IR
Chris De Bruyn