EUROPE: The Greenbrier Companies and Astra Rail Management announced on May 18 that they had obtained the regulatory approvals needed to complete a merger of their European activities to create the ‘largest end-to-end, Europe-based freight railcar business’.

Plans for the merger had been announced on October 13, and the transaction is expected to be completed on June 1. Greenbrier would have a 75% stake in Greenbrier-Astra Rail, with Astra Rail’s owner Thomas Manns holding the remaining 25% and chairing the supervisory board.

Greenbrier-Astra Rail would have its headquarters in the Netherlands and include all the European operations of the two companies, which have almost 4 000 employees. Greenbrier has three manufacturing and repair facilities in Poland including the Wagon Świdnica plant, and a sales office in Germany. Astra has facilities at Arad, Severin and Caracal in Romania and undertakes design work in Slovakia.