WILMERDING: Wabtec Corporation (NYSE: WAB) announced it has completed its merger with GE Transportation, a former business unit of GE (NYSE: GE).
This merger establishes Wabtec as a Fortune 500, global transportation and logistics leader by combining Wabtec’s broad range of freight, transit and electronics products with GE Transportation’s best-in-class equipment, services and digital solutions in the locomotive, mining, marine, stationary power and drilling industries. Wabtec has also been notified that it will now be included in the S&P 500 Index.
Raymond T. Betler, Wabtec’s president and CEO, said: “We are very excited to complete the merger of our two companies. This is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring together nearly four centuries of collective experience to create a technologically advanced leader with a highly complementary set of capabilities to move and improve the world. Our teams have made significant progress in integration planning, and this process has only strengthened our confidence in the value creation potential of the combination. Today, we are a stronger, more diversified company ready to better serve customers across the globe and capitalize on new growth opportunities at an attractive point in the cycle.”
The combined company, which is expected to have revenues of more than $8 billion in 2019, has a compelling growth profile, especially as market conditions improve in the industries it serves. Wabtec brings to market a robust installed base of more than 23,000 locomotives globally, an expanded global reach, a strong mix of products and services, as well as enhanced capabilities to drive innovation faster in key growth areas. The company’s culture and experienced global workforce will leverage the common values of innovation, collaboration, inclusiveness, and continuous improvement, to help solve its customers’ toughest challenges.
Rafael Santana, who served as president and CEO of GE Transportation and is now president and CEO of Wabtec’s Freight segment, said: “Our shared focus on innovation, collaboration and continuous improvement will enable us to unlock new value for our shareholders, customers, employees and the industry. Together we are well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities created by industry trends toward efficiency and improved performance and, with the merger complete, we are focused on leveraging our complementary portfolios to spur growth.”
The strategic combination of complementary portfolios is expected to create a leading equipment, aftermarket services and digital solutions provider across the transportation sector. The company can accelerate lifecycle solutions for the transportation industry and unlock significant productivity for customers by improving interoperability, efficiency and competitiveness.
Wabtec expects to benefit from the cyclical tailwinds the industry saw in 2018, including volume growth of 38 million carloads and intermodal units; Improve utilization and accelerate path to automation. [the_ad id=”32940″]The seamless combination of GE Transportation’s digital solutions and analytics systems with Wabtec’s electronic systems and Positive Train Control (PTC) capabilities, is expected to improve safety, efficiency and productivity across the transportation industry and accelerate railroads’ path to advanced train automation.
According to the Association of American Railroads, automation will help improve network velocity and fluidity, potentially saving railroads billions of dollars annually; Deliver improved customer outcomes through expanded monitoring and services. Together, the combined company will have an expanded footprint of skilled technicians and repair shops that will result in a simpler customer interface and a more streamlined services experience.
This enhanced capability is expected to drive significant productivity for customers by delivering improved cycle time, lower production costs and better asset performance. Proactive performance monitoring can also be improved by integrating Wabtec products within locomotive control systems and by leveraging GE Transportation’s expansive remote monitoring and diagnostics systems. Combining GE Transportation’s constant monitoring of messages from 17,000 locomotives with monitoring of Wabtec’s passenger and shunter locomotives can make for a smarter, more efficient and safer transportation system.
Investors are expected to benefit from ownership of a stronger, more diverse business better positioned to perform through the cycle, with expanded margins, expected average double-digit EPS growth and synergies of about $250 million. The combined company has a multi-year backlog of more than $23 billion.
With this transaction, GE sold a portion of GE Transportation assets to Wabtec, spun off a portion of GE Transportation to GE shareholders and then GE Transportation merged with a wholly owned subsidiary of Wabtec. Wabtec shareholders own approximately 50.8% of Wabtec on a fully diluted basis and GE shareholders own approximately 24.3% of Wabtec on a fully diluted basis.GE owns common stock and non-voting convertible preferred stock, which together represent approximately a 24.9% economic interest in Wabtec on a fully diluted basis. GE also received approximately $2.9 billion in cash at closing.