TCI Set For Congressional Grilling Over CSX

Feb 27 2008 | 8:55am ET

It will hardly garner the wall-to-wall coverage accorded to Roger Clemens’ visit to Capitol Hill earlier this month, but The Children’s Investment Fund’s could alter the activist environment in the U.S.

The London hedge fund’s Snehal Amin will testify before the House Transportation Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials next week about its effort to elect its own slate of nominees to the board of CSX Corp., the largest railroad operator in the U.S. And much like the former picher, he’s expected to get the third degree.

Subcommittee Chairwoman Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) represents CSX’s hometown of Jacksonville in the House of Representatives. In an ominous sign for TCI, her legislative director compared the hedge fund’s effort to influence a U.S. infrastructure company with Dubai Ports World’s failed attempt to buy five U.S. port terminals.

“When you get into foreign ownership, then you start facing similar issues,” Nick Martinelli told the Financial Times.

TCI, CSX’s second-largest shareholder, has nominated five candidates for election to the railroad’s board, including founder Christopher Hohn. The FT reports that TCI is set to counter those fears with the fact that most of its investors are based in the U.S., and that four of its candidates are U.S. citizens independent of the hedge fund.

Michael Ward, chairman and CEO of CSX, is also set to testify before the subcommittee.

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