DBRS Limited (DBRS Morningstar) assigned a rating of “A” with a Stable trend to Canadian National Railway Company’s (CN or the Company) $550 million 4.150% Senior Unsecured Notes due May 10, 2030; $400 million 4.400% Senior Unsecured Notes due May 10, 2033; and $800 million Senior Unsecured Notes due May 10, 2053 (together, the Notes), which closed on May 10, 2023. The rating being assigned is based upon the rating of an already-outstanding series of the above-mentioned debt instrument. The expectation of this incremental debt issuance was incorporated in DBRS Morningstar’s decision to confirm CN’s ratings on May 3, 2023 (see the press release titled “DBRS Morningstar Confirms Canadian National Railway Company at “A” and R-1 (low), Stable Trends” at https://www.dbrsmorningstar.com/research/413458).
CN intends to use the net proceeds from the Notes for general corporate purposes, which may include the redemption and refinancing of outstanding indebtedness, share repurchases, acquisitions, and other business opportunities. The Notes will rank equally with all of the Company’s existing and future senior unsecured indebtedness.
CN’s ratings continue to be underpinned by an extensive network, diversified product and customer base, high operating efficiency, strong cash flow-generative profile, and the sector’s relative importance to the broader economy. These advantages are balanced by the high capital intensity of the railway industry, regulatory focus on safety and service, and a mature industry with modest long-term growth relative to other cyclical industries.
ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL, GOVERNANCE CONSIDERATIONS
There were no Environmental/Social/Governance factors that had a significant or relevant effect on the credit analysis.
A description of how DBRS Morningstar considers ESG factors within the DBRS Morningstar analytical framework can be found in the DBRS Morningstar Criteria: Approach to Environmental, Social, and Governance Risk Factors in Credit Ratings at https://www.dbrsmorningstar.com/research/396929 (May 17, 2022).
All figures are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted.
DBRS Morningstar applied the following principal methodology:
-- Global Methodology for Rating Companies in the Railway Industry (March 28, 2023; https://www.dbrsmorningstar.com/research/411571)
The following methodologies have also been applied:
-- DBRS Morningstar Global Criteria: Commercial Paper Liquidity Support for Nonbank Issuers (February 24, 2023; https://www.dbrsmorningstar.com/research/410196)
-- DBRS Morningstar Global Criteria: Guarantees and Other Forms of Support (March 28, 2023; https://www.dbrsmorningstar.com/research/411694)
The credit rating methodologies used in the analysis of this transaction can be found at: https://www.dbrsmorningstar.com/about/methodologies.
A description of how DBRS Morningstar analyzes corporate finance transactions and how the methodologies are collectively applied can be found at: https://www.dbrsmorningstar.com/research/397223.
The conditions that lead to the assignment of a Negative or Positive trend are generally resolved within a 12-month period. DBRS Morningstar trends and ratings are under regular surveillance.
Information regarding DBRS Morningstar ratings, including definitions, policies, and methodologies, is available on www.dbrsmorningstar.com or contact us at email@example.com.
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