Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. was rebuffed after approaching U.S. railroad CSX Corp. about a possible combination, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing unidentified people who had been briefed on the situation.
In a statement released Sunday evening, company spokeswoman Melanie Cost declined to discuss the report, saying “CSX has a longstanding policy of not commenting on such rumors.”
CSX, which moved its headquarters to Jacksonville about a decade ago, is one of the 11 major railroads in North America and one of two that focuses on the East Coast.
Canadian Pacific, whose stock is traded both in Toronto and New York, is one of three Class One railroads based in Canada: Its 2009 acquisition of two U.S. rail systems gave it entree mainly into the Dakota, Minnesota and Wyoming.
In discussions after its second-quarter earnings were released earlier this month, Canadian Pacific said it was becoming more efficient and more profitable, with revenue growing by 60 percent and profits doubling in the next four years.
Canadian Pacific Chief Executive Officer Hunter Harrison floated the idea of a U.S.-Canadian rail merger in an Oct. 3 Bloomberg Television interview, saying “any east-west combination” would be possible.
CSX is slated to release its third quarter earnings on Tuesday. At an investors conference last month, the company said it is well positioned for growth, with long-term trends favoring transportation by rail. Earnings per share for the quarter are expected to be up slightly from the 45 cents recorded in the same quarter last year.