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Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC

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Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC is the parent company of the BNSF Railway (formerly the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway). The company is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, which is controlled by investor Warren Buffett.[2]

Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC
Industry Rail transport
Founded 1993; 25 years ago (1993)
Headquarters Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Key people
Carl Ice
(Chairman, CEO, & President)[1]
Revenue Increase US$23.239 billion (2014)
Increase US$7.002 billion (2014)
Increase US$3.869 billion (2014)
Number of employees
48,000 (2014)
Parent Berkshire Hathaway
Subsidiaries BNSF Railway



The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation was incorporated in 1993 to facilitate the merger of Burlington Northern, Incorporated, parent of the Burlington Northern Railroad, and Santa Fe Pacific Corporation, which owned the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (Santa Fe).[3] The corporate merger was consummated on September 22, 1995 at which point shareholders of the previous companies became shareholders of BNSF and the two companies became wholly owned subsidiaries of BNSF.[4] In December 1996, the two holding companies and two railroads were formally merged, and in January 1998 the remaining intermediate holding company was folded into the railroad.

Robert D. Krebs of Santa Fe Pacific was president of BNSF from the merger until 1999, chief executive from the merger until 2000, and chairman from 1997 until 2002. He was succeeded in all three positions by Matthew K. Rose.

On November 3, 2009, Berkshire Hathaway made a $26 billion offer to buy the remaining 77.4 percent of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation it did not already own, valuing the purchase at $34 billion. The deal, which including Berkshire’s previous investment and the assumption of $10 billion in Burlington Northern debt brings the total value to $44 billion.[5] Consummated February 12, 2010, it is the largest acquisition in Berkshire Hathaway's history.[6]

The deal was structured so that the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation would merge with and into R Acquisition Company, LLC, an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. The deal closed on February 12, 2010 and at the same time, the now merged company changed its name to Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC that remains an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.[7]


BNSF Railway's primary rail competitor in the Western region of the United States is the Union Pacific Railroad Company. Other Class 1 railroads and numerous regional railroads and motor carriers also operate in parts of the same territories served by BNSF Railway.[8]

Based on weekly reporting by the Association of American Railroads, BNSF's share of the western United States rail traffic in 2008 was approximately 49 percent.[8]


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