FINLAND: On August 4 Škoda Transportation Group of the Czech Republic announced that it had completed the acquisition of a controlling stake in Finnish rolling stock manufacturer Transtech from investment company Pritech Oy.

Ilka Brotherus will remain as a minority shareholder through family company Sinituote Oy, and the Transtech name will be unchanged. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

‘Škoda Transportation has been extremely successful over the last couple of years, particularly in export markets’, said Tomáš Krsek, Chairman of Škoda Transportation Group. ‘Our main long-term plan is to strengthen the company’s position in Western Europe in particular. The acquisition of Finnish company Transtech is one of the steps that will take us towards our goal.’

Established in 1985, Transtech was owned by Patentes Talgo of Spain from June 1999 until March 2007 when it was sold to a group of Finnish investors. It produces double-deck coaches and car-carrying wagons for Finnish national operator VR, has a framework agreement to supply trams to Helsinki and also undertakes other engineering projects as a subcontractor. It has 530 staff based in Oulu and Otanmäki, and recorded turnover of €95m in 2014.

‘With this acquisition Škoda Transportation is becoming a key player in the field of railway and urban rail vehicles in the Finnish market’, said Zdeněk Majer, Vice-President, Sales, at Škoda Transportation Group. He added that Transtech’s expertise in the development of vehicles for Nordic conditions would enable Skoda to participate in Scandinavian tenders which are expected in the coming months.

‘We are happy to have Škoda Transportation Group as our new majority shareholder, especially because the company already has an extensive product portfolio that supports us in our development and innovation work’, said Transtech board member Leif Ekström.