France: Alcatel has appointed Credit Suisse First Boston to find a buyer for its Saft batteries operation. Sale to another manufacturer or an investment concern is expected to be completed by the end of September, and offers of more than 500m euros are anticipated.

Ascom Monétel, Ascom Elsydel and Ascom SA have merged under the name Ascom Monétel. The company is to take on 100 additional staff this year, and expects a turnover of FFr1·2bn.

After making a loss of FFr32·3m in 1998-99, Faiveley Transport is to shed 164 jobs at its three production sites in Touraine and its Saint Denis headquarters outside Paris.

Manoir Industries has been purchased by investors Fonds Partenaires-Gestion, Apax Partners, IRR, Gaz et Eaux and Parconexi. The company made a profit of FFr180m on a turnover of FFr2·4bn in 1998.

Germany: As part of a major investment programme, Hoogovens Aluminium Profiltechnik is installing a 9000 tonne press at its Bonn plant. Due for commissioning in early 2001, the press will be used to produce large extruded aluminium sections for applications including rolling stock.

Hungary: Reorg Apport Rt and Ganz Holding Rt are to form Ganz Vagon Kft, after Ganz-Hunslet went into liquidation at the end of last year. The rolling stock builder has an order book worth HF3bn.

Switzerland: Alusuisse parent Algroup has announced its intention to merge with Alcan Aluminium of Canada and Pechiney of France. Pending regulatory approval, the merged company would be known as Alcan-Pechiney-Algroup with its headquarters in Canada.

USA: Shareholders in MotivePower Industries and Westinghouse Air Brake Co were due to vote on the merger of WABCO into MPI at special meetings called for August 23. The merged companies are projected to have a combined revenue of $1·2bn this year.

MultiModal Applied Systems Inc has signed a licensing and marketing agreement with Rail Sciences Inc, whose RDCAM