US WAGON builders Trinity Industries and Thrall Car Manufacturing announced on August 13 that they are to merge by the end of this year. As Thrall is a privately-owned company, the deal provides for it to be acquired for US$165m and 7 million Trinity shares. Extra payments worth up to US$45m over five years will be geared to annual production.

Tim Wallace, Chairman, President & CEO of Trinity Industries, said the ’strategic combination’ would create ’an ideal platform’ for serving the market. Thrall Chairman Craig Duchossois will join the Trinity board, and Vice Chairman Michael Flannery will become CEO of the combined business. Thrall President & Chief Operating Officer Martin Graham will become President of the Thrall-Trinity Freight Car Division.

In 1997-2000, Trinity’s rail business reported average annual revenues of over US$1·3bn, with an average operating profit of US$96m. Thrall’s annual revenue was US$700m, with profits averaging US$57m.