WASHINGTON (Dec. 20, 2010)—The U.S. Department of Justice said L.B. Foster Co. must divest a West Virginia plant that makes railroad joints to Koppers Inc. to proceed with its acquisition of Portec Rail Products Inc.
The proposed deal would combine two of the primary U.S. manufacturers of bonded insulated rail joints and two of only three makers of polyurethane-coated insulated rail joints. Divestiture of the West Virginia plant will preserve competition for certain types of railroad joints, the DOJ said.
Without the divestiture, the acquisition would lead to higher prices, lower quality, less customer service and less innovation, according to the DOJ.
The DOJ's Antitrust Division filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in US District Court for the District of Columbia to block the proposed acquisition at the same time as it filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the competitive concerns alleged in the lawsuit.