CALGARY - Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. says it will seek shareholder and regulatory approval for a five-for-one split of its common shares.

Keith Creel, CP's president and CEO, says the railway believes the share split will encourage greater liquidity for CP's shares by making them available to a wider group of investors.

Shareholders are scheduled to vote on the proposed split on April 21.

If approved, shareholders will be entitled to four additional shares for each share held, on a date that is still to be determined.

CP's shares slipped $8.65 or two per cent at $425.42 in midday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange ahead of the release of its fourth-quarter results.

The Calgary-based railway also says the TSX has accepted its notice to buy back up to 2.5 per cent of its outstanding common shares over the coming year.