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.