By Justin Franz
MONTREAL — Canadian National has called a special shareholder meeting scheduled for March 22, 2022, where one of the railroad’s largest shareholders will have a chance to make its case for change at the Class I.
Following CN’s failed acquisition of Kansas City Southern, TCI Fund Management called for the resignation of CEO JJ Ruest and a shakeup at the board. Last week, CN shot back at the hedge fund, saying the Class I was in a great position for future growth.
CN officials noted that TCI was a major Canadian Pacific shareholder; that TCI falsely claimed the railroad would lose billions when its KCS bid failed; and that it had made false claims about the railroad’s performance. Perhaps most notable though was that TCI had yet to offer specifics about how its hand-picked CEO — Jim Vena, a long-time CN and Union Pacific executive who retired from the industry earlier this year — would do a better job.
“CN remains committed to executing its ambitious, long-term, sustainable growth strategy, and is grateful for early expressions of support for this plan that it has received from valued shareholders, customers, partners and other key stakeholders,” officials wrote. “The Company has best-in-class corporate governance and a strong shareholder engagement program as it continues to focus on operational excellence, a customer-first culture, innovation and ESG leadership.”
CN officials said that TCI has agreed to the date of the shareholder meeting.