KnorrBremse image KB

NORTH AMERICA: Knorr-Bremse announced on April 19 that it had agreed to buy Alstom’s North American conventional signalling business, with a deal that is expected to be formally concluded ‘in summer 2024’.

The former General Railway Signal Co was established in 1904 through the merger of three signalling manufacturers. It was acquired was acquired by the Italian company Sasib in 1989 and became part of Alstom in 1998. The group intends to divest the conventional parts of its North American signalling activities, but will continue to offer Communications Based Train Control and ETCS-based digital signalling products in the market.

The affected business units had revenues of approximately €300m in the 2023-24 financial year, and Alstom confirmed that the sale price would be ‘around €630m’. The group explained that the divestment was ‘part of the comprehensive company action plan’ that it had announced in November 2023. It was looking to ‘maintain a solid and sustainable investment grade rating’, and achieve its €2bn deleveraging target when it announces full-year results on May 8.

‘We are pleased to sign this agreement, which marks an important step in the implementation of our action plan’, said Alstom Chairman & CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge. ‘It evidences the work of our North American signalling employees, who have built and advanced this very successful business over the past few years.’

New perspectives

Knorr-Bremse said the acquisition marked its entry into the high-growth rail Command, Control & Signalling sector. The takeover of a profitable business would create ‘new perspectives for profitable growth, technological expertise and future digital business models’ for its rail division.

According to CEO Marc Llistosella, the deal was ‘good for Knorr-Bremse and will further drive our profitable growth. We are not only expanding our highly profitable rail business. We will also become one of the market leaders in North America in the CCS rail segment. We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues to the Knorr-Bremse team soon.’