The Merger Union Pacific Is Out To Derail

Union Pacific Corp. chief Drew Lewis has never been one to run from a fight. As Transportation Secretary under Ronald Reagan, he busted the air-traffic controllers union. As head of the UP, a job he will reluctantly give up when he turns 65 in 1996, he has doggedly maintained his railroad company's dominance in the West for the better part of a decade. So, after rivals Santa Fe Pacific Corp. and Burlington Northern Inc. threatened his railroad's hegemony last summer by agreeing to create a new No.1 rail carrier in a $2.6 billion stock swap, Lewis figured it was time to take off the gloves again. On Oct. 5, he topped the Burlington offer with a $3.4 billion stock bid. After Burlington countered with another bid, UP hiked its offer on Oct. 30 to $3.8 billion, and UP says more sweeteners may be on the way. On Nov. 2, Santa Fe rejected the latest UP bid.

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