Bid report boosts CSX stock, but deal chances seen remote

Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:31pm EDT
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By Nick Carey and Diane Bartz

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Shares of No. 3 U.S. railroad CSX Corp CSX.N rose nearly 10 percent on Monday following a report of a rebuffed takeover bid by Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP.TO: Quote), but analysts said any such deal would face significant regulatory and other hurdles.

"You could make the argument that there is not much overlap between the two networks and between their businesses," said Jim Corridore, head of industrials equity research at Standard & Poor's. "But they would face significant hurdles of getting a merger passed by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB)."

Any merger would require STB approval.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the No. 2 Canadian railroad made a bid last week for Jacksonville, Florida-based CSX, which rejected the offer. Both companies declined to comment.

CSX shares closed up $1.76 or nearly 6 percent at $31.70.

Shares of Canadian Pacific were not traded Monday in Canada as markets were closed for a holiday. They were up 1 percent in trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Elsewhere in the sector, Kansas City Southern shares were up 2 percent and Norfolk Southern Corp was trading up nearly 3 percent.

In a client note, Cowen & Co analyst Jason Seidl wrote that Canadian Pacific could theoretically team up with hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management and go directly to CSX shareholders.

In 2012 activist investor William Ackman, who runs Pershing Square, recruited Hunter Harrison, who had previously been chief executive officer of Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO: Quote), as CEO of Canadian Pacific.   Continued...

Hunter Harrison, CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway Limited addresses shareholders at the company's annual general meeting in Calgary, Alberta, May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Sturk