Hitachi Rail to acquire Thales’ rail business

Hitachi Rail has agreed to buy the Ground Transportation Systems of Thales. This branch has a value of approximately 1.7 billion euros. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

Thales plans to divest its Ground Transportation Systems (GTS) business to focus on three other businesses: aerospace, defense and security, and digital identity and security. In this way, the company wants to achieve accelerated profit growth and reduce its debt burden. The representative bodies of both Thales and Hitachi Rail are currently being consulted about the plans. Just like the national competition authorities.

Global player

With the acquisition of Thales’ GTS activities, Hitachi Rail will become ‘world leader in the market for rail protection systems’. In addition, combining the digital expertise of both companies will also help Hitachi Rail improve its Mobility as a Service (MaaS) offering. The Japanese company is thus expanding its position in the European rail market. In 2015 it bought the Italian train manufacturer AnsaldoBreda, known for the Fyra. A year earlier, the company moved the headquarters of its train division from Tokyo to London.

In 2020, Thales Ground Transportation Systems had approximately 9,000 employees in 42 countries with headquarters in Germany, France and Canada. The division specialises in rail security and train control systems, telecommunications and surveillance systems and ticketing solutions. Every year, approximately 8 billion passengers make direct or indirect use of GTS’s rail technologies.

Hitachi Rail has operations in Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is a global supplier of rail solutions for rolling stock, signalling, service & maintenance, digital technology and turnkey solutions. With a presence in 38 countries on six continents and more than 12,000 employees.

MaaS capabilities

Andrew Barr, General Manager of Hitachi Rail says that they will expand the reach of therirsignaling activities, but also bringing together digital and MaaS capabilities. “The strong teams, customer relationships and technologies at GTS will help us grow into a major player, further enabled by Lumada and the digital engineering of our teams at GlobalLogic and the wider Hitachi Group.”

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Author: Esther Geerts

Editor of RailTech.com

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