Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shareholders approve BNSF transaction with Berkshire Hathaway

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Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favor of the company's acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., securing a path for BNSF Railway to continue to build upon its position as one of America's premier freight transportation companies.

In all, preliminary results show that approximately 70 percent of BNSF issued and outstanding shares not owned by Berkshire or its affiliates were voted in favor of the transaction, above the 66-2/3 percent required. Additionally, holders of at least a majority of the issued and outstanding shares of BNSF voted in favor. Both of these votes were required under Delaware law to adopt the merger agreement and were reported at a shareholder meeting held today at BNSF headquarters in Fort Worth. Representatives of Innisfree M&A Incorporated tabulated the votes and acted as independent inspectors.

"Tomorrow begins the first century of ownership of BNSF by Berkshire Hathaway. I'm looking forward to every day of it as our railroad does its part to ensure the future prosperity of the country," said Warren E. Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and chief executive officer.

"We are at an important milestone in our 160-year history," said Matthew K. Rose, chairman, president and chief executive officer of BNSF. "This is a vote of confidence in BNSF and the future of freight rail, and it demonstrates how well our business model is aligned with our new parent company. By providing cost-effective and energy-efficient transportation that also benefits the environment, we are moving the goods that are crucial to consumers and our economy as our nation powers its way out of the recession."

The merger is expected to close on February 12.

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