Hitachi prepares the takeover of Italian train manufacturer AnsaldoBreda

Hitachi Group has completed a due diligence on the acquisition of 50% of AnsaldoBreda, the train manufacturing unit of Finmeccanica Group. The two parties might sign the agreement on the takeover of the stakes and decide on the acquisition price of 50% of AnsaldoBreda by June.

AnsaldoBreda is one of the large rolling stock manufacturing units present in markets such as Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, the US, while Ansaldo STS holds a strategic position in the signalling market, being one of the few integrators of ETCS/ERTMS L1 and L2 in Europe. Therefore, the takeover of the two units, despite financial difficulties, is an opportunity for all manufacturers interested in accessing the European market.

At the beginning of May, financial manager, Alessandro Pansa, announced that Finmeccanica would sell stakes from its energy and railway units in exchange of EUR 1 Billion so as to maintain its credit rating after a net loss of EUR 2.3 Billion in 2011. Also, there are contract drafts, memorandums and letters of intent from partners interested to buy both units. According to the Italian press, at the beginning of May, Hitachi Rail announced its interest in both AnsaldoBreda and Ansaldo STS.

At the end of 2011, Alstom’s CEO Patrick Kron sent a letter to his Finmeccanica counterpart saying he should review the accounting register of the company because Alstom was interested to buy the Italian train manufacturer, after both General Electric and Bombardier had previously expressed interest in buying AnsaldoBreda.

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