RUSSIA: A joint venture of SP-Technology and Vossloh Cogifer has completed the acquisition of a 75% minus two shares stake in Novosibirsk Switch Plant, Russia's largest manufacturer of switches and crossings. The remaining stake is held by Russian Railways, which accounts for 87% of Novosibirsk's sales.

Founded in 1942, Novosibirsk now produces over 10 000 units/year, with more than 200 employees, a market share in excess of 80% and revenues of €130m in 2012.

The joint venture of SP-Technology and Vossloh Cogifer won an auction to buy the stake in the business in May, and regulatory approval for the 2bn rouble deal was received in July. Vossloh Cogifer has an initial equity participation of 7·5% in the joint venture, which it intends to increase to 36·7% through technology and skills transfer.

'Our pledge to improve the service life of Russia's points and crossings and to reduce maintenance costs is the decisive factor that enabled us to win this privatisation tender,' said Xavier Quemener, Business Development Director at Vossloh Cogifer. Developments under consideration include wheel/rail interface design, component improvement through the use of manganese monobloc frogs and optimising the plant's manufacturing processes.