W.Virginia senator wants probe of Canadian Pacific plan to buy rival

Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:33pm EST
 
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By Diane Bartz

WASHINGTON Jan 26 (Reuters) - West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin called on Tuesday for a congressional hearing to discuss Canadian Pacific Railway's plan to buy Norfolk Southern , saying it could cost people in his state their jobs.

Canadian Pacific Railway, the No. 2 Canadian railroad, made an unsolicited $28 billion offer for the U.S. railroad Norfolk Southern in November. Norfolk Southern has repeatedly rejected the advances, saying the proposed terms were "grossly inadequate" and that a deal would face substantial regulatory risks.

Manchin, a Democrat, called on Tuesday for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to hold a hearing on the proposed deal.

He argued that Canadian Pacific was already aggressively slashing jobs because of pressure from investors, including saying last week that it planned to cut nearly 1,000 jobs in 2016.

"This merger creates real and present dangers to hardworking people of West Virginia. I'm calling for a Commerce Committee investigation into this merger because I want to ask (Canadian Pacific Executive Officer) Hunter Harrison what they are going to invest in, what they are going to build, and how they are going to help the people and the communities of our state," said Manchin.

The deal - which is not official - has already attracted criticism from industry groups representing freight customers, the Transportation Communications Union/International Association of Machinists as well as Representatives Peter DeFazio of Oregon and Michael Capuano of Massachusetts, both Democrats, and Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Alistair Bell)