After turning around Arbel Fauvet Rail of France, the wagon maker has acquired Firema Transporti to strengthen its European presence.
Indian rolling stock manufacturer Titagarh Wagons Ltd has acquired Firema Transporti, a troubled Italian rail design and manufacturing firm on the verge of bankruptcy, a move which would help the Indian wagon maker further bring down dependence on Indian Railways for survival and strengthen its presence in Europe.
Firema, which designs and sells metro coaches and high speed trains, had been suffering due to the global economic slowdown and was put under “extraordinary administrator” in 2010, following which several aborted efforts by the administrator since 2011 to dispose off the company and its assets were undertaken.
Along with Adler Pelzler of Germany, Titagarh formed a consortium with 90% stake and had put in a bid with the office of the Extraordinary Commissioner for Firema at the beginning of the year, which was subsequently accepted by the administrator on June 26.
“The company has successfully closed the acquisition of the business of Firema Transporti on Thursday through signing of a share purchase agreement with the company represented by extraordinary commissioner. The business has been acquired through its step down subsidiary Titagarh Firema Adler s.p.a registered in Milano,” Titagarh said in a statement without disclosing the deal value.
Firema specialises in the manufacture and maintenance of rolling stock, for the Italian State Railways as well for Metro Catania, Milan’s underground railway system.
Sale of Firema, having plants in Caserta, Spello, Tito and Milan, hinged on how the new owners would treat the existing work force of more than 500 personnel.
An earlier offer made by a 70% consortium of Bluetec, which had turned around Fiat’s plant in Sicily, had fallen through over retrenchment of a part of the workforce, reports in Italian media suggested.
Firema Trasporti was founded in 1980 by the families of Flower, Regazzoni and Marchiorello giving rise to the acronym Fi-Re-Ma. Over the years the corporate structure changed several times with the original founding families gradually exiting.
The Italian acquisition comes five years after Titagarh bought over a similarly troubled Arbel Fauvet Rail of France, whose operations have now been turned around.
Source : DNAINDIA
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