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Canadian Pacific Railway has big decision after KCS says CN has superior offer

An eastbound train waits in Field, B.C., for the line to be cleared, on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. has a big decision to make after rival CN Rail amended its takeover bid to win favour from Kansas City Southern.

The Calgary-based railway has previously rejected suggestions that it needs to increase its bid to fend off its larger, Montreal-based rival. But that may be the path it needs to follow to regain the upper hand by having what’s considered the superior proposal.

Read more: Kansas City Southern to scrap railroad deal with CP after CN ups bid to $33.6B

Alternatively, industry analysts suggest CP Rail could pocket the US$700 million break fee paid by CN Rail to KCS for terminating the CP purchase agreement.

Or it could hold tight and wait for a ruling from the U.S. railway regulator, the Surface Transportation Board, on CN’s voting trust of KCS shares.

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READ MORE: U.S. regulator gives CP Rail go-ahead in bid for Kansas City Southern

Kansas City Southern informed CP Rail Thursday evening that it was terminating their purchase agreement after CN presented a revised US$33.6-billion offer that increased the number of its shares available to KCS shareholders and agreed to cover the break fee.

CP Rail responded to the move by criticizing CN’s offer and suggesting it will make a decision by May 21, the imposed deadline.

“There is nothing new here; this doesn’t make it any more likely that the CN proposal can close into a voting trust,” it said in a news release.

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