CALGARY, Feb. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP) (NYSE: CP) today announced it will seek a declaratory order from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) confirming the viability of the voting trust structure that CP has suggested as part of its proposed merger with Norfolk Southern Corp. (NS). CP urges NS, consistent with its duties to its shareholders, to assist constructively in this effort, but intends to proceed regardless of NS's cooperation.
"While we remain fully confident in our comprehensive regulatory plan, shareholders of both CP and NS have recommended that we seek this declaratory order as a means to better understand the STB's views on the proposed voting trust model ahead of any formal application," said E. Hunter Harrison, CP's Chief Executive Officer. "We still think this action is unnecessary, however, we believe listening to the shareholders – the owners of our respective companies – is important."
Voting trusts have been used in hundreds of transactions involving regulated industries, including 144 transactions overseen by the STB since deregulation of the rail industry in 1980. Trusts, besides protecting against unlawful control violations, are a key means of reducing the risk that the regulatory approval process will either interfere with the marketplace's assessment of a merger or be used as a tool by management to fend off would be acquirers.
While the declaratory order presents a hypothetical proposed trust – outside the established STB procedure for seeking formal trust approval - CP is hopeful that the STB will be able to offer clear guidance that will satisfy shareholders' concerns before their voices are heard on CP's pending resolution.
Earlier this month, CP submitted a resolution to NS shareholders to ask their board of directors to meet with CP to discuss the clear benefits of a business combination that would create a true end-to-end transcontinental railroad that would enhance competition, benefit the public and drive economic growth.
"NS has cited supposed regulatory uncertainty regarding the voting trust model as a reason not to talk to CP, and NS proposed that we seek a declaratory order. We are skeptical that the STB will give a definitive ruling, especially when NS will not even sit down with us, but we are willing to go the extra mile if that is what it takes to get NS to the table," said Mr. Harrison.
CP strongly believes that a combined railroad would offer unparalleled customer service and competitive rates that will support the success of the shippers and industries it serves, and satisfy the STB and Canadian regulators.
For more information on CP's proposal to NS, visit CPconsolidation.com.
Forward Looking Statement
This news release contains certain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws relating, but not limited, to CP's proposal to NS regarding a possible business combination, CP's shareholder proposal to NS, the anticipated results and benefits of the proposed transaction and matters relating to regulatory approvals and changes. This forward-looking information also includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning expectations, beliefs, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions and statements about possible future events, conditions, and results of operations or performance. Forward-looking information may contain statements with words or headings such as "financial expectations", "key assumptions", "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "plan", "will", "outlook", "should" or similar words suggesting future outcomes.
Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information as actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance. By its nature, CP's forward-looking information involves numerous assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information, including but not limited to the following factors: the ability of the parties to agree to the terms of a proposed transaction; the ability of the parties to obtain the required regulatory approvals; the ability to recognize the financial and operational benefits of the transaction; changes in business strategies; general North American and global economic, credit and business conditions; risks in agricultural production such as weather conditions and insect populations; the availability and price of energy commodities; the effects of competition and pricing pressures; industry capacity; shifts in market demand; changes in commodity prices; uncertainty surrounding timing and volumes of commodities being shipped via CP; inflation; changes in laws and regulations, including regulation of rates; changes in taxes and tax rates; potential increases in maintenance and operating costs; uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation; labour disputes; risks and liabilities arising from derailments; transportation of dangerous goods; timing of completion of capital and maintenance projects; currency and interest rate fluctuations; effects of changes in market conditions and discount rates on the financial position of pension plans and investments; and various events that could disrupt operations, including severe weather, droughts, floods, avalanches and earthquakes as well as security threats and governmental response to them, and technological changes. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive.
These and other factors are detailed from time to time in reports filed by CP with securities regulators in Canada and the United States. Reference should be made to "Management's Discussion and Analysis" in CP's annual and interim reports, Annual Information Form and Form 40-F. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is based on current expectations, estimates and projections and it is possible that predictions, forecasts, projections, and other forms of forward-looking information will not be achieved by CP. Except as required by law, CP undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Rule 425 Disclosure
This announcement is neither an offer to purchase or exchange nor a solicitation of an offer to sell securities. Subject to future developments, additional documents regarding the proposed transaction may be filed with the SEC. Investors and security holders are urged to read such disclosure documents regarding the proposed transaction, if and when they become available, because they will contain important information. Investors and security holders may obtain a free copy of the disclosure documents (when they are available) and other documents filed by CP with the SEC at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. The disclosure documents and these other documents may also be obtained for free from CP at http://www.cpr.ca/en/investors or by directing a request to Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, 7550 Ogden Dale Road S.E., Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2C 4X9, Attention: Office of the Corporate Secretary.
CP and its directors, executive officers and other employees may be deemed to be participants in any solicitation of CP or NS shareholders in connection with the proposed transaction. Information about CP's executive officers and directors is available in CP's Annual Report on Form 40-F for the year ended December 31, 2014, which was filed with the SEC on February 23, 2015. Additional information about the interests of potential participants will be included in any proxy statement filed in connection with the proposed transaction.
About Canadian Pacific
Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP)(NYSE: CP) is a transcontinental railway in Canada and the United States with direct links to eight major ports, including Vancouver and Montreal, providing 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 cpr.ca to see the rail advantages of Canadian Pacific.
SOURCE Canadian Pacific