CP Rail nominates activist investor to board

Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:14pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP.TO: Quote) filed a proxy circular on Thursday, and nominated activist investor William Ackman for election to its board of directors.

Canada's No. 2 railway is locked in a proxy battle with Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management, which wants to replace Chief Executive Fred Green with former Canadian National Railway CNR.TO CEO Hunter Harrison.

The company said it strongly disagreed with Ackman's demand that it replace Green, but reiterated that it remained open to having Ackman join its board

Ackman, who is well-known in the investment community for taking big stakes in companies and pushing management to improve the value of the business, was earlier offered a seat on the CP board, but he balked at the terms and turned down the offer.

Pershing, earlier this year, named a slate of six nominees to sit on CP's board, including Ackman.

CP has said Pershing Square's nominees have no evident railroad industry experience and add no other complementary industry experience.

"The upcoming annual meeting is one of the most important in Canadian Pacific's history," said CP's Chairman John Cleghorn in a letter to investors on Thursday.

CP's annual shareholder meeting will be held on May 17, in Calgary, Alberta.

(Reporting By Allison Martell; Editing by Peter Galloway)