Stockholders of the corporation that owns BNSF Railway, North America’s second-largest railroad, approved the $26 billion bid from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway to buy the 77 percent of BNSF shares it does not already hold.
The expected approval came at a special shareholders meeting Thursday morning at BNSF headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. It clears the way for Berkshire to rapidly close the deal and make BNSF one of its wholly owned units.
BNSF Chairman, President and CEO Matthew K. Rose said about 70 percent of non-Berkshire shares were voted in support of the merger.
Berkshire earlier said it and BNSF would plan to close the deal on Feb. 12.
That will make BNSF the only one of the major railroads that is not a standalone, publicly traded company that issues detailed quarterly financial and operating reports.
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