Hitachi Rail divests European signalling businesses to MerMec, to acquire Thales GTS

Hitachi Rail divests European signalling businesses to MerMec, to acquire Thales GTS Image credit: Thales GTS

Italy-based MerMec S.p.A. has agreed to buy Hitachi Rail’s existing signalling business units in Germany and Britain, as well as the company’s mainline signalling business in France (formerly CSEE). The value of deal has not been disclosed. In total around 550 employees will transfer to MerMec.

Hitachi Rail has sought, and received, clearance from 13 competition authorities for its €1.66 billion acquisition of Thales Ground Transportation Systems (GTS). Most recently, the European Commission (EC) gave its approval in October after Hitachi agreed to divest signalling platforms in France and Germany. This followed an EC investigation that found that the deal as originally proposed would have reduced competition and led to higher prices and less innovation in the mainline signalling market.

Hitachi has offered to divest its British signalling business unit after Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) raised similar concerns relating to reduced competition. Hitachi will retain its other operations in Britain, France and Germany, including its centre for CBTC technology in France and rolling stock and maintenance business in Britain.

MerMec formed a joint venture with Stadler in 2018 under the AngelStar brand to develop signalling systems. In November, two DB Cargo class 185.2 locomotives were successfully retrofitted with the company's Guardia Baseline 3.4.0 ETCS automatic train protection system.

Source: MerMec