BNSF Railway officially became part of Berkshire Hathaway Feb. 12, as Berkshire announced that it closed the deal to make North America’s second-largest railroad into a subsidiary of the investment firm run by Warren Buffett.
The closing, which took place a day after BNSF stockholders approved the transaction in a special meeting Feb. 11 in Fort Worth, Texas, makes BNSF the only one of the largest class of seven major carriers to no longer be a standalone, public company.
Berkshire already owned more than 22 percent of BNSF shares before it agreed last November to buy up the rest of BNSF shares for $26 billion. The deal required two-thirds of non-Berkshire shares to be voted in support, and BNSF said preliminary results from the shareholders meeting showed about 70 percent approval.
Matthew K. Rose, BNSF president and CEO, said after the vote that becoming a unit of Berkshire not only frees up his executive team from quarterly earnings reports to Wall Street and conference calls with stock analysts but also allows rail managers to focus more on long-term use of the rail assets.
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