Activist Hedge Fund TCI Targets Railroad Giant CSX

Oct 16 2007 | 10:47am ET

The Children’s Investment Fund, the London-based activist manager best known for sinking Deutsche Börse’s bid for the London Stock Exchange and ousting its CEO, has a new target: CSX Transportation. The hedge fund, run by Christopher Hohn, is demanding a slew of management changes, as well as amending the bylaws to make the railway company more responsive to shareholders.

In a letter to Jacksonville, Fla.-based CSX, one of the two major railroads in the eastern United States, TCI—which has as 4.1% stake in the company—demanded that the chairmanship be separated from the CEO’s job, criticizing current CSX Chairman and CEO Michael Ward.

“Michael Ward has been the highest-compensated CEO in the rail industry over the past two years, despite CSX being operationally outperformed by its peers,” it wrote.

TCI also called on CSX to allow shareholders to call special meetings, base executive’s long-term pay on returns on capital, craft and present to shareholders a plan to better its operations, justify its capital spending plan for the next three years and improve its relationships with labor unions, shippers and shareholders.

“The board and management have taken an unnecessarily adversarial relations instead of collaborative solutions,” TCI wrote.

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