Canada: Alstom is to lay off 550 staff at its Pointe St Charles plant in Montréal. Blaming a slowdown in the American market, Alstom has halted its policy of speculative loco and wagon production.

Czech Republic: Siemens has won the bid to acquire bankrupt rolling stock supplier CKD Dopravní, ahead of Inekon. Skoda pulled out of bidding due to a lack of clarity in asset ownership.

Europe: Alcatel of France and Marconi of Great Britain have confirmed their intention to sell their 48% stake in Alstom. The sale is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2001.

France: Saft Industrial Battery Group has relocated its French administrative offices from Romainville to Bagnolet.

Great Britain: Following a government referral of the transaction to the Competition Commission, Babcock International and Siemens have abandoned their proposed sale of the Railcare rolling stock maintenance business to Adtranz (RG 11.00 p767).

French simulator supplier Corys Training & Engineering Support has acquired a controlling interest in Rail Training International.

International: Under a strategy unveiled by Siemens AG President Heinrich von Pierer on December 14, Siemens Transportation Systems has been set a medium-term profit margin target of 5% to 7%. The division recorded a turnover of 3·9bn euros in the year to September 30 2000. Siemens is to adopt a uniform worldwide identity during this financial year. The Signalling & Control Systems Main Line division will become Automation Railways, Signalling & Control Systems Mass Transit will become Automation Mass Transit and Multiple Units will become Trains.

Italy: Ansaldo Trasmissione e Distribuzione’s Milano-based EMC unit has been acquired by IMPulse NC of the USA, and will be renamed EMC Traction.

Netherlands: NS subsidiary Holland Railconsult has been sold to a management buy-out and financiers NPM Capital, as NS concentrates on its core activities. NS subsidiary Strukton is being sold to offshore oil and gas platform builders Heerema. Strukton has 3200 staff and an annual turnover of 1·2bn guilders.

Pakistan: PR has granted a concession to the Thai firm Nopa Wong to open petrol stations and franchised shops on 80 railway-owned sites across the country, earning it around Rs120m a year.

Poland: NG Koleje Telekomunikacja is to lease 5300 km of PKP optic fibre lines for 15 years under a US$46·5m deal. The agreement also allows the Anglo-Polish consortium to lease a further 2000 km for US$17·5m. PKP is forming a separate telecommunications unit, which will be spun off with other non-railway activities.

Russia: Minister of Railways Nikolai Aksyonenko opened a new petroleum tank wagon repair works at Irkutsk on December 7.

Singapore: Paris-based component company TRIsource has opened an Asia-Pacific office in Singapore.

USA: Swedish bearing supplier SKF has acquired Kentucky-based Roller Bearing Industries.

Miner Enterprises acquired the assets of New York’s Buffalo Brake Beam Company on December 12.