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Rail News: M&A

EdgePoint report: Global rail industry racked up more mergers, acquisitions in 2013

Consolidation continued in the global rail industry last year, with 85 reported mergers and acquisitions (M&A), according to a report issued by investment bank and advisory firm EdgePoint Capital Advisers.

Of those transactions, 76 were closed in 2013 and nine still were pending at year's end. Thirty-four announced M&A transactions involved cross-border participants, 29 of which involved European targets.

Siemens AG completed the largest acquisition by purchasing Invensys Rail for $2.8 billion and Wabtec Corp. was the most active M&A participant with four reported closings, the report states. Siemens closed three transactions, and Greenbriar Equity and The Timken Co. each closed two.

Twenty percent of 2013 transactions involved suppliers of freight equipment, followed by passenger equipment at 17 percent, infrastructure at 16 percent and controls at 10 percent. By sector, 62 percent of all transactions involved rail industry suppliers, followed by rail service providers at 13 percent, regionals and short lines at 11 percent, passenger railroads at 7 percent and engineering/consulting firms at 7 percent.

"Acquisition activity demonstrates that rail services companies increasingly are on the radar of acquisitive industry participants," EdgePoint officials said in the report.

Overall, transaction activity in 2013 was marked by insufficient "core" acquisition opportunities for industry participants, continued globalization through acquisitions and a broadening of interest in the rail products sector.

"These factors are positive for rail products and service business owners, as an insufficient supply and high demand contribute to higher pricing," EdgePoint officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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