UPDATE 1-CP Rail CEO says consolidation unlikely to involve CP for now

Mon Mar 2, 2015 2:37pm EST
 
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(Adds context on last year's talks with CSX)

By Allison Martell

TORONTO, March 2 (Reuters) - Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd is unlikely to be involved in the consolidation of the North American industry in the short term, Chief Executive Hunter Harrison said on Monday.

Canada's No. 2 railway, which also has operations in the United States, discussed a deal with CSX Corp last year but could not reach an agreement.

"It's going to happen, but it's not going to involve us, not any time soon," Harrison told reporters after a speech in Toronto. "Nobody wants to do a deal."

Harrison has long argued that consolidation is inevitable over the long term, but his is a minority view. Any deal would face tough regulatory barriers, and even Harrison has said hostile takeovers are very unlikely.

News that talks had broken down with CSX last year fueled speculation that Norfolk Southern Corp, another major eastern railroad, could be next.

But Norfolk Southern said in October that mergers between major railroads in the United States faced too many regulatory hurdles and caused too many problems to be worthwhile at this point. (Editing by Alan Crosby, Jeffrey Hodgson and Andrew Hay)