Leipzig-based welding specialist Goldschmidt Thermit has agreed to acquire PUT Graw, a Polish track measurement and condition monitoring technology provider, as part of its plans for expansion in eastern Europe. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Electrical connector specialist Harting has begun work to construct a European Distribution Centre at Espelkamp in northern Germany. The 8 ha facility represents an investment of €40m to improve the efficiency of product dispatch, and it is expected to open in 2019.

ZF Aftermarket has signed a framework agreement with Houghton International of the UK. With an initial focus on the light rail market, this will offer ZF customers access to Houghton’s expertise in the servicing of AC and DC traction motors and motor-alternators, providing a complete drive maintenance package.

Having acquired rail door lock specialist Pickersgill-Kaye in February, Assa Abloy group is to invest in developing the company’s Leeds facility as a centre of excellence for the rail market and a dedicated research facility. The company’s aim is to ‘create the right environment for developing the next generation of specialist locking equipment that will help secure a larger share of an expanding global rail market’.

Announcing its results for the 2016-17 financial year on May 26, Hoppecke Industrial Batteries reported a 25% increase in revenues. The company said there had been ‘impressive growth’ in all four of its main business areas: service, motive power, special power and reserve power. Hoppecke sees ‘excellent opportunities’ in future railway electrification and new rolling stock orders.

Making available a loan of €87m, HSH Nordbank announced on May 26 that it was participating as a Mandated Lead Arranger in providing acquisition financing for the €854m acquisition of rolling stock leasing company Beacon Rail by JP Morgan. Senior bank debt equivalent to €624m has been provided by HSH Nordbank, ING, BAML, DVB, CACIB, KfW and ABN Amro, while institutional investors have provided €230m in private notes.

At the Vossloh AG General Meeting in Düsseldorf on May 24, shareholders endorsed the appointment of Dr Volker Kefer as Chairman of the Supervisory Board in succession to Heinz Hermann Thiele and Andreas Busemann as the new Chairman of the Executive Board. The meeting decided to carry forward the net profit from 2016 ‘and to exonerate the members of the Executive and Supervisory boards who were in office during the reporting year’.