September 11, 2020 - TRA Newswire -

$20 billion is apparently too low a number. That's the amount that Global Infrastructure Partners and private-equity firm Blackstone Group apparently offered in a takeover bid for Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS). The private equity investor group had offered $208 per share of KCS stock but it was rejected. The company claimed that the offer was undervalued.

KCS had turned down a previous bid that was under $200 a share.

According to William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief of Railway Age Magazine, KCS "is representative of a good railroad, with good management focused on long-term, top-line growth and long-term shareholder value. "

However there is speculation that since the railroad has been singled out as a good operator, there could be other suitors in the wings, including Warren Buffet's BNSF Railway and Canadian Pacific, both of which would benefit from KCS's strong performance.

In an interview with Railway Age magazine, CEO Pat Ottensmeyer was quoted as saying "we’ve got to be on our toes because we’re surrounded by companies that are much larger than we are. Complacency would be very troublesome for our company. Fiercely independent? I would say the nature of our fierce independence has changed over time. A big part of our strategy for the past several years—this is really important—is the way we can connect, our philosophical approach, our desire and willingness to work with the other carriers to get to markets and offer our customers and their customers service options that we wouldn’t have, just based on our own network."



KCS also announced this week that it's annual Holiday Express train would not operate this year because of the pandemic. However, the company, working in partnership to benefit the Salvation Army, would hold a fundraiser in 20 communities on its U.S. network.

The Holiday Express train traditionally draws large crowds in free, public events.

“KCS is pleased to celebrate 20 years of its Holiday Express program benefiting The Salvation Army in communities throughout our U.S. rail network,” said KCS president and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. “While it is not safe to gather for free visits with Santa Claus and tours of the Holiday Express train this year, the need for the charitable component of this program is greater than ever.”

Texas communities that will receive funds raised for The Salvation Army include Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, Laredo and Port Arthur, Texas.