First US-Mexico-Canada rail network to be created
Published by Lydia Woellwarth,
Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS) have announced they have entered into a merger agreement, under which CP has agreed to acquire KCS in a stock and cash transaction representing an enterprise value of approximately US$29 billion, which includes the assumption of US$3.8 billion of outstanding KCS debt. The transaction, which has the unanimous support of both boards of directors, values KCS at US$275 per share, representing a 23% premium, based on the CP and KCS closing prices on 19 March 2021 (and US$270 per share, representing a 26% premium, based on the respective CP and KCS 30-day volume weighted average prices (VWAP)).
Following the closing into a voting trust, common shareholders of KCS will receive 0.489 of a CP share and US$90 in cash for each KCS common share held.
Following final approval from the Surface Transportation Board (STB), the transaction will combine the two railroads to create the first rail network connecting the US, Mexico, and Canada. Joining seamlessly in Kansas City, Missouri, in America's heartland, CP and KCS together will connect customers via single-network transportation offerings between points on CP's system throughout Canada, the US Midwest, and the US Northeast, and points on KCS' system throughout Mexico and the South Central US.
The combined network's new single-line offerings will deliver dramatically expanded market reach for customers served by CP and KCS, provide new competitive transportation service options, and support North American economic growth. The transaction is also expected to create jobs across the combined network. Additionally, efficiency and service improvements are expected to achieve meaningful environmental benefits.
While remaining the smallest of six US Class 1 railroads by revenue, the combined company will be a much larger and more competitive network, operating approximately 20 000 miles of rail, employing close to 20 000 people and generating total revenues of approximately US$8.7 billion based on 2020 actual revenues.
“This transaction will be transformative for North America, providing significant positive impacts for our respective employees, customers, communities, and shareholders,” said CP President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Creel. “This will create the first US-Mexico-Canada railroad, bringing together two railroads that have been keenly focused on providing quality service to their customers to unlock the full potential of their networks. CP and KCS have been the two best performing Class 1 railroads for the past three years on a revenue growth basis.”
“The new competition we will inject into the North American transportation market cannot happen soon enough, as the new USMCA Trade Agreement among these three countries makes the efficient integration of the continent's supply chains more important than ever before. Over the coming months, we look forward to speaking with customers of all sizes, and communities across the combined network, to outline the compelling case for this combination and reinforce our steadfast commitment to service and safety as we bring these two iconic companies together,” said Mr. Creel.
“KCS has long prided itself in being the most customer-friendly transportation provider in North America,” said KCS President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. “In combining with CP, customers will have access to new, single-line transportation services that will provide them with the best value for their transportation dollar and a strong competitive alternative to the larger Class 1s. Our companies' cultures are aligned and rooted in the highest safety, service and performance standards.”
“Importantly, KCS employees will benefit from being part of a truly North American continental enterprise, which creates a strong platform for revenue growth, capital investment, and future job creation. Customers, labour partners, and shareholders will all benefit from the inherent strengths of this combination, including attractive synergies and complementary routes," said Mr. Ottensmeyer.
Mr. Creel and Mr. Ottensmeyer concluded, “We have been champions for the environment recognising the important role rail plays in lowering overall transportation emissions. This combination advances our shared science-based pledges in-line with the Paris Agreement to improve fuel efficiency and lower emissions in support of a more sustainable North American supply chain.”
Transaction to expand options and efficiencies for customers
The combination will provide an enhanced competitive alternative to existing rail service providers and is expected to result in improved service to customers of all sizes. Grain, automotive, auto-parts, energy, intermodal, and other shippers, will benefit from the increased efficiency and simplicity of the combined network, which is expected to spur greater rail-to-rail competition and support customers in growing their rail volumes.
Following final regulatory approval, a single integrated rail system will connect premier ports on the US Gulf, Atlantic and Pacific coasts with key overseas markets. The combination of CP and KCS networks will offer unprecedented reach via new single-line hauls across the combined company's continent-wide network.
Importantly, no customer will experience a reduction in independent railroad choices as a result of the transaction. Additionally, with both companies' focus on safety and track records of operational excellence, customers will benefit from a seamless integration of the two systems without service disruption.
CP and KCS interchange and operate an existing shared facility in Kansas City, Missouri, which is the one point where they connect. This transaction will alleviate the need for a time consuming and expensive interchange, improving efficiency and reducing transit times and costs. The combination also will allow some traffic between KCS-served points and the Upper Midwest and Western Canada to bypass Chicago via the CP route through Iowa. This will improve service and has the potential to contribute to the reduction of rail traffic, fuel burn, and emissions in Chicago, an important hub city.
Improving highway traffic, environmental sustainability, and safety
In addition to providing new competition against other railroads, the new single-line routes made possible by the transaction are expected to shift trucks off crowded US highways, yielding reduced highway traffic, lower emissions, and less need for public investments in road and highway bridge repairs. In the Dallas to Chicago corridor alone, the synergies created by this combination are expected to result in meaningful reduction in truck traffic on publicly funded highways.
Rail is four times more fuel efficient than trucking, and one train can keep more than 300 trucks off public roads and produce 75% less greenhouse gas emissions. CP is committed to sustainability and is currently developing North America's first line-haul hydrogen-powered locomotive.
CP and KCS operational expertise and track records as PSR railroads, coupled with the hand-in-glove fit of the two networks, will help ensure a smooth, safe and efficient combination of the two railroads. In combination with KCS, CP will continue to build on its record as North America's safest Class 1 railroad for 15 consecutive years based on Federal Railroad Administration-reportable train accident frequency.
Read the article online at: https://www.drybulkmagazine.com/rail-barge/24032021/first-us-mexico-canada-rail-network-to-be-created/
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