Nordco-Track

Exercising its power, Wabtec acquires rail maintenance company for $400 million

About two years after flexing some muscle by acquiring GE’s transportation sector, Wabtec Corporation has made another large addition to its portfolio of businesses. The Pittsburgh company signed an agreement to acquire Nordco, the Oak Creek, Wisconsin-based supplier of new, rebuilt and used maintenance of way equipment, it announced in a March 23 press release.

Nordco enters the fold with a broad product and service portfolio including mobile railcar movers and ultrasonic rail flaw detection technologies. Through the acquisition, Wabtec plans to “expand its installed base and accelerate growth across Nordco’s innovative product portfolio both domestically and internationally.” The acquisition has received necessary regulatory approvals and is subject to customary closing conditions.

“Nordco is a strategic addition to the Wabtec portfolio with an attractive pipeline of vertical solutions and strong aftermarket demand that will only be strengthened by our vast global footprint,” said Rafael Santana, Wabtec President and CEO. “This acquisition aligns with our growth strategy, is supported by a strong recurring revenue model, technology that complements our business, and is projected to deliver over $10 million in cost synergies for our shareholders over the next three years.”

In recent years, Nordco’s former owner, Greenbriar, had partnered with the former to invest in “innovation, new product development and customer relationships,” the companies stated in the press release. They contend that this helped “create a leader in rail maintenance of way equipment, products and services.” Based on quarterly revenues, and annual sales over the past half-decade, this is hard to dispute.

Nordco is expected to have full year 2021 sales of more than $175 million and EBITDA of about $40 million and will join Wabtec as part of its Freight Services group. Wabtec is acquiring Nordco for $400 million in cash, financed through cash on hand and a revolving credit facility. Wabtec expects Nordco to be immediately accretive to EBITDA margin, EPS and cash flow in 2021 after adjusting for one-time costs.

The Nordco family of companies provides an extensive selection of products and services that enable rail-related industries to build, improve, maintain and inspect their track infrastructure and reposition rolling stock. Nordco’s equipment and services support the North American Class I railroads, short-line and transit authorities, equipment leasing companies and leading industrial customers.

Pascal Schweitzer, President of Wabtec’s Freight Services group, said: “We are excited to welcome Nordco to Wabtec in an acquisition that accelerates our long-term profitable growth strategy. This deal will significantly increase our presence in the maintenance of way segment and give us a strong position in the growing railcar mover market. Our combination provides an attractive offer for customers and opens further opportunities for international expansion.”

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