Conrail Raises Offer for Southern Pacific Lines: Conrail Inc. raised its bid to $1.9 billion for about 20% of Southern Pacific Rail Corp.'s lines--a purchase that Conrail says could ease antitrust concerns over the proposed merger of San Francisco-based Southern Pacific and Union Pacific Corp. Conrail offered in September to buy the 3,000 miles of track, which runs through the Cotton Belt. The price it proposed, disclosed in April, was $1.5 million. Conrail made both offers to Union Pacific, which wants to buy all of SP, but is fighting opposition from the Justice Department and shipping companies. Both Union Pacific and Southern Pacific expressed surprise that Conrail disclosed the higher bid through a news release instead of joining the current Surface Transportation Board hearings on their merger, valued at $5.4 billion. Philadelphia-based Conrail said it sent a letter to Union Pacific’s chairman and directors.
Times Staff and Wire Reports