June 29, 2020 / 10:28 AM / 5 days ago

Voestalpine strengthens railway unit with buys in France, China, Argentina

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian specialty steelmaker Voestalpine (VOES.VI) said on Monday it had bought a railway switch plant in France and stakes in companies in China and Argentina to strengthen its production capacity in the railway business.

With the acquisition of the French switch plant SEI.L (Societe d’Equipement Industriel.Lietaert) Voestalpine is positioning itself for orders from railway operator SNCF, which is expected make significant infrastructure investments in coming years, it said.

Voestalpine did not provide a purchase price.

The Austrian group also bought stakes in Chinese switch systems producer Sanjia Turnouts and Argentine switch assembly plant Sistemas Ferroviarios Argentinos SRL, it said without providing further details.

“Even in the current challenging economic environment, the rail infrastructure sector is experiencing stable development,” said Chief Executive Herbert Eibensteiner. “The latest buys are an important step to be optimally positioned in this market in the future.”

The group said it had also set up a Chinese production site for monitoring systems for track switches to prepare for an expected increase in demand due to worldwide efforts to reduce global warming.

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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