Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. shareholders today voted to approve Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s $100 a share, $44 billion acquisition of the BNSF, setting the stage for the Western railroad to move into private ownership.
BNSF said shareholders overwhelmingly approved the deal in a meeting held today in Fort Worth, Texas. The deal is set to close Feb. 12.
"Tomorrow begins the first century of ownership of BNSF by Berkshire Hathaway. I'm looking forward to every day of it as our railroad does its part to ensure the future prosperity of the country," said Warren E. Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway's chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.
Berkshire Hathaway made the offer on Nov. 3, accompanied by Buffett's now-famous declaration that it represented an "all-in bet" on the future of the U.S. economy.
"We are at an important milestone in our 160-year history," said Matthew K. Rose, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of BNSF, in the statement. "This is a vote of confidence in BNSF and the future of freight rail, and it demonstrates how well our business model is aligned with our new parent company."