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Hitachi close to AnsaldoBreda purchase?

AnsaldoBreda supply the Sirio low-floor tram across Europe, seen here in Kayseri, Turkey. A. Colebourne

A statement released by Italian industrial conglomerate Finnmeccanica on 18 November announced that Japanese manufacturer Hitachi had submitted a bid to purchase its AnsaldoBreda rolling stock business in addition to its 40% stake in signalling supplier Ansaldo STS. The sale is understood to be part of a major restructuring plan for Finnmeccanica as it struggled to balance debt and refocus on defence and aviation contracts.

Hitachi is one of two bidders admitted to ‘the final stage of the process for the acquisition of AnsaldoBreda’, the other being China CNR Corp, with Japanese news agency Nikkei reporting that the offer is worth close to EUR1.4bn.

Hitachi is close to completion of an EUR103m production facility at Newton Aycliffe in north-eastern England, that will serve as the European design and construction base for the manufacturer. A purchase of AnsaldoBreda would give valuable additional capacity in Europe, as well as existing contracts in both the light and urban industries around the world.