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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from XPO Logistics, Pacer, Tata Steel, Thales, Greenbrier and PwC (Jan. 10)


XPO Logistics Inc. and Pacer International Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement for XPO to acquire Pacer. Under terms of the proposed transaction, Pacer shareholders will receive $6 in cash and $3 of XPO Logistics common stock for each share of Pacer common stock, subject to a price collar, for a total market value of $335 million and a total enterprise value of $296 million, according to a joint press release. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, subject to regulatory clearance, Pacer shareholder approval and other customary conditions.

Tata Steel has obtained a two-year contract to supply more than 200,000 tons of track to French rail operator SNCF. The track will be produced at Tata Steel’s plant in northern France. The new order is an extension of a previous contract with SNCF.

The East Japan Railway Co. selected Thales to design a communications-based train control (CBTC) system for the Joban Line in the Tokyo area. The railway plans to replace its current conventional automatic train control system and acquire a new, state-of-the-art CBTC system with an optimized life-cycle cost to improve the city's transportation systems, according to a Thales press release.

Axion International Holdings Inc. has shipped an order of ECOTRAX® rail ties to a second European railroad for in-track testing. The shipment includes 700 ties and three switch sets, which will be used on a narrow gauge passenger railway as part of their annual refurbishment and renewal program.

The Greenbrier Cos. Inc. reported net earnings of $16 million, or 51 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter of its fiscal-year 2014 compared with $22.5 million, or 69 cents per diluted share, for the same period in FY2013. The net earnings exclude restructuring charges. Net earnings including restructuring charges totaled $15.4 million, or 49 cents per diluted share. Revenue for the quarter totaled $490.4 million, up from $484.2 million in the previous fiscal year. The new rail-car backlog as of Nov. 30, 2013, was 13,500 units with an estimated value of $1.43 billion, compared with 14,4000 units with an estimated value of $1.52 billion on Aug. 31, 2013.

PwC US has added John Donahue as a director in the firm's transportation and logistics sector within the Industrial Products practice. He will focus primarily on companies within the freight industry, specifically Class Is, ocean carriers, trucking companies and third-party logistics providers. In his new role, Donahue will help companies improve utilization of assets and operations to increase profitability and reduce costs. He joins PwC from Computer Sciences Corp., where he was a director of freight transportation industry solutions.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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