Greenbrier, Astra Rail to form new company
Greenbrier and Astra Rail Management GmbH announced plans to form a new company, Greenbrier-Astra Rail, that will create an end-to-end, Europe-based freight railcar manufacturing, engineering and repair business. The combined enterprise will be formed between Greenbrier's European operations headquartered in Swidnica, Poland and Astra Rail based in Germany and Arad, Romania. It will be led by an experienced Europe-based management team from both companies. Greenbrier-Astra Rail will offer manufacturing and service capability in Europe with greater scale and efficiency for current customers. It also provides the opportunity to pursue growth in railcar markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council nations and Eurasia. As partial consideration for its majority interest, Greenbrier will pay Astra Rail EUR 30M at closing and EUR 30M 12 months after closing. Greenbrier expects the transaction to be accretive to earnings per share by the end of fiscal year 2017. Greenbrier-Astra Rail will be controlled by Greenbrier with an approximate 75% interest. Astra Rail's Chairman Thomas Manns will own the remainder of the new company. In addition to his ownership stake, Manns will become Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Greenbrier-Astra Rail and will lead the new company's commercial operations, working closely with its Management Board and Jim Cowan, President of Greenbrier International. Greenbrier-Astra Rail will be headquartered in the Netherlands and will have principal operations in Poland and Romania. Greenbrier-Astra Rail will have nearly 4,000 employees and 6 production and repair facilities across Europe.