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CSAFE Global

 

CSAFE Global

 

Fuel a more sustainable future

CN nomineesCN (TSX: CNR, NYSE: CNI) and Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) (“KCS”) today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement to create the premier railway for the 21st century.

Under the terms of the agreement, which was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of each company, KCS shareholders will receive $3252 per common share based on CN’s May 13, 2021 offer, which implies a total enterprise value of $33.6 billion, including the assumption of approximately $3.8 billion of KCS debt. KCS shareholders will receive $200 in cash and 1.129 shares of CN common stock for each KCS common share, with KCS shareholders expected to own 12.6% of the combined company. This represents an implied premium of 45% when compared to KCS’ unaffected closing stock price on March 19, 2021. KCS’ preferred shareholders will receive $37.50 in cash for each preferred share.

The combination is expected to be accretive to CN’s Adjusted Diluted EPS, excluding incremental transaction-related amortization, in the first full year following CN’s acquisition of control of KCS, and is expected to generate double-digit accretion upon the full realization of synergies thereafter.

All figures in U.S. dollars, except where noted. All conversions between Canadian dollars and U.S. dollars are based on a 0.827 foreign exchange rate as of May 12, 2021. Where applicable, figures are based on the CN closing share price on the NYSE of $110.76 as of May 12, 2021.

“We are thrilled that KCS has agreed to combine with CN to create the premier railway for the 21st century. I would like to thank the numerous stakeholders of both companies who have demonstrated overwhelming support for this compelling combination, and we look forward to delivering the many benefits of this pro-competitive transaction to them. I am confident that together with KCS’ experienced and talented team, we will meaningfully connect the continent – enhancing competition, offering more choice for customers, and driving environmental stewardship and shareholder value.” - JJ Ruest, president and chief executive officer of CN.

“As North America’s most customer-focused transportation provider, we are excited about this combination with CN, which will provide customers access to new single-line transportation services at the best value for their transportation dollar, and increase competition among the Class 1 railroads. Our companies’ cultures are strongly aligned, and we share a commitment to environmental stewardship, safe operations, reliable service and outstanding performance. As a larger continental enterprise with complementary routes and an enhanced platform for revenue growth, capital investment, and job creation, we will be positioned to deliver on the transaction’s powerful synergies which will create new growth opportunities for our customers, employees, labor partners, communities and shareholders.” - Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, president and chief executive officer of KCS.

“KCS is the ideal partner for CN to connect the continent, helping to drive North American trade and economic prosperity. We are confident in our ability to gain the necessary regulatory approvals and complete the combination with KCS, and we look forward to combining with KCS to create new opportunities, more choice and a stronger company.”- Robert Pace, chair of the board of CN.

Creates the premier railway for the 21st century. The combination of CN and KCS will further accelerate CN’s industry-leading growth profile by connecting North America’s industrial corridor to create new options for shippers and new revenue for the combined company. A CN-KCS combination will substantially help realize the many benefits of the USMCA, bringing it to life in a meaningful way.

Brings together highly complementary networks to benefit customers. CN and KCS will create a safer, faster, cleaner and stronger railway that is ideally positioned to support the growth of an emerging consumption-based economy through better service options and customer choice.

Enhances competition. This combination will create an express route that connects the U.S., Mexico and Canada with a seamless single-owner, single-operator service, and preserves access to all existing gateways to enhance route choices and ensure robust price competition.

Delivers significant value to KCS shareholders. CN’s proposal delivers an implied premium of 45% to KCS shareholders, as well as participation in the significant upside of the combined company. Additionally, KCS shareholders will have the ability to receive the merger consideration immediately upon the closing of CN’s voting trust, which is expected to be in the second half of 2021. This combination will also significantly expand the combined company’s total addressable market (“TAM”) – CN and KCS would target $8 billion of TAM opportunity while supporting growth across the rapidly growing USMCA network.

Presents compelling synergies and pro-forma financial metrics. CN currently estimates that the combination would result in EBITDA synergies approaching $1 billion annually, with the vast majority of synergies coming from additional revenue opportunities. CN anticipates the transaction to be accretive to CN’s adjusted diluted earnings per share in the first full year following CN assuming control of KCS.

Accelerates innovation. CN and KCS share cultures that value safety, service and environmental stewardship. CN and KCS will accelerate innovation and investment as CN brings its industry-leading safety technology and fuel efficiency to the KCS network.

Yields demonstrable benefits for the environment. The combination will yield demonstrable benefits for the environment by converting significant volumes of truck traffic onto rails, delivering better fuel efficiency at lower cost. CN has the ability to remove more than 300 trucks from the road with every additional freight train. Because trains are 4 to 5 times more fuel-efficient than trucks, the combined company will also have an opportunity to realize a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in cleaner air for local communities along CN’s line. While preventing thousands of tons of emissions from entering the atmosphere every day, the expected conversion of truck traffic to rails will also reduce traffic congestion in these regions.

Creates opportunities for local communities. Upon the closing of the transaction, CN will maintain corporate headquarters in Montreal, Canada, and establish Kansas City, Missouri, as the combined company’s United States headquarters. The Mexico headquarters will remain in Mexico City and the operations center in Monterrey. CN will make significant infrastructure investments in key communities across the new network, including Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Louisiana and Texas, meaning more economic opportunity and more jobs.

The cash portion of the consideration will be funded through a combination of cash-on-hand and approximately $19 billion of new debt. Upon closing of the transaction and including the assumption of approximately $3.8 billion of KCS debt, we expect to have outstanding debt of approximately $33 billion, representing a leverage ratio of 4.5x pro forma 2021 EBITDA3, and we expect to maintain an investment grade credit rating. Based on the proposed exchange ratio and CN’s current quarterly dividend of C$0.615 per CN share, KCS shareholders are expected to receive the equivalent of $2.30 in annual dividends per KCS share.

3 Represents adjusted debt-to-adjusted EBITDA multiple, assuming closing into trust at end of 2021.

CN and KCS are confident in their ability to obtain all necessary regulatory approvals, including from the Surface Transportation Board (“STB”) and the Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) and Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) in Mexico.

CN has proposed a “plain vanilla” voting trust. Upon KCS shareholder approval of the transaction, and satisfaction of customary closing conditions, CN will acquire KCS shares and place them into the voting trust. KCS shareholders will receive the merger consideration immediately upon the closing of CN’s voting trust, which is expected to be in the second half of 2021.

Following this step, the STB and other regulatory authorities must approve CN’s control of KCS. The completion of the transaction is expected to take place in the second half of 2022. Upon completion, CN and KCS will begin the integration process to realize the significant benefits of the combination for their stakeholders.

J.P. Morgan and RBC Capital Markets are acting as CN’s financial advisors, and Centerview Partners LLC is also serving as a financial advisor. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Torys LLP, Agon and Stikeman Elliot LLP are providing legal counsel to CN.

BofA Securities and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC are serving as financial advisors to Kansas City Southern. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Baker & Miller PLLC, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, WilmerHale, and White & Case, S.C. are serving as legal counsel to Kansas City Southern.

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