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Hitachi announces TRE acquisition

Hitachi Europe Ltd has bought The Railway Engineering Company Ltd (TRE) in a £25.5m deal expected to be completed by the end of the month.

TRE supplies traffic operators’ training and assessment simulators, as well as automatic routing systems. Earlier this year, Hitachi became one of three companies awarded a contract to provide a TMS prototype to Network Rail (see RTM October/November 2012). The project will test and evaluate systems with the potential to roll out traffic management across the entire network.

All existing activities and staff will continue to operate from TRE’s current business locations.

Yutaka Saito, president & CEO of Infrastructure Systems Group and Infrastructure Systems Company, senior vice president and executive officer of Hitachi, Ltd. said: “Advanced social infrastructure systems are imperative to today’s world, in order to help reduce carbon emissions and build a sustainable society.

“Hitachi is therefore committed to expanding its total solutions business, by the integration of IT and social infrastructure systems. Through this acquisition, we aim to gain a foothold in expanding our social infrastructure systems business in the UK and Europe.”

Kiyoshi Yamamoto, managing director of Hitachi Europe Ltd. commented: “We are delighted to be announcing this new acquisition, in line with our plans to build a greater presence for Hitachi in the European Infrastructure Systems Business, including Rail industry. Together, we seek to leverage the considerable synergies in our product areas, including simulation, control and traffic management.

“This acquisition helps strengthen Hitachi’s vision of creating a strong social innovation business globally. Hitachi Rail Europe and The Railway Engineering Company already have been working together and we look forward to combining the efforts permanently to increase productivity, efficiency and innovation within the rail sector.”

TRE managing director Rob Butler commented: “We are very excited by the considerable opportunities this acquisition promises. We will continue to provide the same quality and service to our clients and look to further develop our offer as we simulate, validate and control railway signalling and operations both here in the UK and overseas.”

Coolin Desai, head of transportation & logistics at PwC, led the deal and said: “Overall, we have completed six transactions in 2012 involving Japanese firms acquiring here in the UK, meaning we are witnessing a significant upswing in Japanese inbound deal activity across a broad range of sectors.”

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Mikeyb   20/12/2012 at 17:46

Following on from the Siemens acquisition of Invensys Rail, here we have another UK-based rail technology company now falling into foreign hands. It would seem that many of our high-tech companies are presently valued quite low making them easy takeover targets. Incidentally, how many Japanese concerns have been acquired by European companies over the years? I cannot think of any, which makes me think that Tokyo might have a law that bars foreign involvement in any of their industries.

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