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Knorr-Bremse strengthens Rail Vehicle Systems division

  17.12.2009    

On Wednesday Knorr-Bremse acquired Sydac, the Australia-based leading specialist in driving simulators for rail vehicles. The acquisition expands Knorr-Bremse’s portfolio in a sector in which increased market opportunities are expected. The purchase of Sydac is part of a strategy of targeted acquisitions aimed at strengthening the company’s market position in a number of areas. Thus Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems acquired a total of four companies during 2009: In addition to Sydac, two Italian firms – De Zan, with 50 years’ experience in the precision machining of sheet metal for product housings, and EMC Traction, a world leader in circuit-breakers for railway applications – were acquired, reinforcing the power electronics segment at Knorr-Bremse subsidiary Microelettrica; and also this year, Knorr-Bremse’s North American subsidiary New York Air Brake acquired the
brake hose specialist Premtec.
These acquisitions follow on from Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems’ substantial portfolio expansion in the previous year. In 2008, Knorr-Bremse subsidiary IFE acquired the door systems division of the German company Hübner and also took over Czech-based IGE, thereby strengthening its position in the Eastern European market for streetcar doors. The same year, New York Air Brake expanded its portfolio in the bogie equipment sector through the acquisition of Klasing Handbrake and – also in North America – Anchor Brake Shoes, a
manufacturer of brake shoes for locomotives and freight cars, was purchased with the aim of offering complete braking systems in the US rail vehicle market. During 2008, Knorr-Bremse also strengthened its position in the air conditioning sector by purchasing the UK-based company Techtrain.
Together, the companies acquired in 2008 and 2009 represent a sales volume of some €60 million. All the acquisitions were financed out of current cash flow without having recourse to credit. Acquisitions by Knorr-Bremse have to meet five conditions: takeovers must increase customer benefits, complement or expand Knorr-Bremse’s technological expertise, offer synergies with existing activities, add corporate value, and permit rapid integration.
The Knorr-Bremse Group is the world’s leading manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles. For more than 100 years now the company has pioneered the development, production and marketing of state-of-the-art braking systems. Other lines of business include automatic door systems and air conditioning systems for rail vehicles, as well as torsional vibration dampers for internal combustion engines. In 2008 the Group
posted sales of €3.38 billion and employed a workforce of approximately 15,000.


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