Wilmerding-based Wabtec Picking Up GE's Locomotive Unit

Deal valued at $11.1 billion

Larry Richert and John Shumway
May 21, 2018 - 9:20 am

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Wilmerding-based Wabtec is merging with General Electric's train engine division in deal worth about $11 billion.

Under the deal announced this morning, GE will get $2.9 billion in cash. Wabtec CEO Raymond Betler, who will continue to run the company, says GE Corporation gets 9.9 percent of the new company, GE shareholders 40.2 percent, Wabtec shareholders retain 49.9 percent. Wabtec Chairman Albert Neupaver, is re-appointed Executive Chairman.

“It’s a perfect strategic fit,” Betler told KDKA radio. “There’s very little overlap. Very complimentary businesses.” In Western Pennsylvania Wabtec has about 800 employees. GE Transportation has nearly 4,000 in Grove City and Erie, PA, according to Betler.

While no job cuts were announced with the merger, Hefren-Tillotson Sr. Vice President Jayme Meredith tells KDKA Radio some might be expected. The merger could save the companies $250 million a year.

Betler says he expects job growth with an improving economy. “There’s been a big resurgence of freight traffic over the past six months,” said Betler.

GE is breaking off parts of its conglomerate to focus on aviation, health care and energy.  The deal is expected to close in early 2019. 

Wabtec was founded by George Westinghouse in Pittsburgh’s Strip District in 1869 as Westinghouse Air Brake Company.

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