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Rail News: Communication and Signal

Ansaldo STS OKs merger of Italian units; wins contracts in Italy and China


Ansaldo STS' board recently approved the merger of Italian subsidiaries Ansaldo Trasporti - Sistemi Ferroviari SpA and Ansaldo Segnalamento Ferroviario SpA into Ansaldo STS.

The merger represents the next step in the rationalization and simplification of the company's structure, Ansaldo STS said. Last year, the company dissolved Dutch sub-holding firm Ansaldo Signal NV.

As a result of the merger — which is expected to take effect on Jan. 1, 2009 — some of the firm's foreign operating companies, including Ansaldo STS France and Union Switch & Signal Inc., will be directly controlled by the parent company.

The rationalization will reduce costs, simplify the corporate structure, ensure growth is proportional to overall profitability, and step up expansion in global markets and entry into new business segments, Ansaldo STS officials said in a prepared statement.

In addition, the company will simplify existing relationships between its business units and better capitalize on market opportunities by integrating the operations of its signaling and transport systems businesses.

Meanwhile, Ansaldo STS also announced Ansaldo STS SpA — which retains a 40 percent stake in Finmeccanica SpA — won a $33.5 million contract to install train-control and radio systems for Italian railway Trenitalia. The train-control system will conform with European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) technology.

In addition, Ansaldo STS subsidiary Ansaldo Segnalamento Ferroviario, Ansaldo STS won $75.7 million contract from the Chinese railways to design, build and install signaling equipment for the high-speed Zhengzhou-Xi'an line, one of three main high-speed train projects in the nation that will be based on ERTMS technology. The project will be carried out by a consortium formed by Ansaldo STS and China's Beijing HollySys Co. Ltd.