General Electric has agreed to merge its century-old locomotive business with rail-equipment maker Wabtec in a deal valued at $11.1 billion (€9.43 billion), the biggest step yet in chief executive John Flannery's plan to shed unwanted units and revitalise the beleaguered manufacturer.
GE has received $3.6 billion in orders in the past two quarters.
Katie Zoller, a spokeswoman for GE Transportation, said the broad port initiative is not affected by today's deal, and the unit is in discussions with other ports to develop similar programs. Accern also gave news coverage about the transportation company an impact score of 47.5560551082825 out of 100, indicating that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company's share price in the immediate future. Wolfe Research upgraded shares of Wabtec from a "market perform" rating to an "outperform" rating and set a $88.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, February 16th. Besides locomotive and railcar parts, it also produces products such as railroad signaling equipment, and provides fix services for GE and other locomotives.
"We've always been quite interested".
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The resulting company will have approximately $8 billion in revenues, the companies said.
"For a whole host of reasons, the stars kind of lined up this time, and it presented an opportunity for us to actually get it done".
Wabtec CEO Raymond Betler will lead the combined company and its chairman, Albert Neupaver, will be executive chairman. Wabtec's corporate headquarters will remain in Wilmerding, Pa. GE Transportation President Rafael Santana will become President and CEO of Wabtec's freight division, headquartered in Chicago, and Stéphane Rambaud-Measson will become President and CEO of Wabtec's Transit Division, based in Paris.
A Reverse Morris Trust transaction will provide allowance to the company so that it can avoid a big tax bill by spinning off a unit that it wants to divest and simultaneously merging it with another company.
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The deal will add more offerings that can improve efficiency and safety to GE's customers, which include Komatsu Ltd and Rio Tinto PLC, as well as Wabtec's client base which includes Siemens AG and Bombardier Inc, Santana added.
Several actions have been taken by GE to cut back on it portfolio over the last few years, as its cuts plastics, NBCUniversal, as well as the majority of its GE Capital business.
Rail equipment provider Wabtec said that combining with GE Transportation, a leader in locomotive production, will make it a "Fortune 500, global transportation leader in rail equipment, software and services".
The stocks of GE has, however, lost about half its value in the past year, and the company has been working with activist hedge fund Trian Fund Management, which sits on its board of directors, to turn the business around.
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