CP Rail mulls litigation over opposition to Norfolk Southern deal

Thu Mar 3, 2016 2:09pm EST
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By Allison Lampert and Nick Carey

MONTREAL/CHICAGO 3 (Reuters) - Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP.TO: Quote) said on Wednesday it is looking at all legal options in response to what it described as concerted efforts by certain U.S. railroads to block its proposed merger with Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC.N: Quote).

"It is unfortunate that CP must consider the use of litigation to ensure a level playing field and protect its rights," CP, Canada's second-largest railroad, said in a statement.

CP's $28 billion plan to buy Norfolk Southern has garnered support from more than 80 shippers, but is being opposed by Norfolk Southern and a number of industry groups and other rail customers.

Some U.S. railroads said on Wednesday they were not participating in any anti-competitive activities.

"CSX (CSX.O: Quote) has not been part of, nor is it aware of, any anti-competitive activities related to mergers, or otherwise, in the railroad industry," spokeswoman Melanie Cost said by email.

A spokesman for BNSF Railway Co [BNISF.UL] declined to comment.

CP has previously raised concerns that U.S. railroads were working collectively to oppose its proposed merger with Norfolk Southern. In January, CP said in a statement that it asked the U.S. Department of Justice to "review" the actions of certain railroads "who have stated publicly that they are organizing a collective campaign" to block industry mergers.

A CP spokesman said on Wednesday that the railroad has not been in contact with the Department of Justice since sending that request.   Continued...

The Canadian Pacific railyard is pictured in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia February 15, 2015.  REUTERS/Ben Nelms