WILMERDING, Pa.—Wabtec Corp. has purchased Metalocaucho S.L. to broaden the company's global network along with its product portfolio, especially in North America.
Metalocaucho is a producer of rubber-to-metal components, primarily for suspension and vibration control systems used mainly in the high-speed, inner-city and metro passenger transit car sector. Its annual sales are in the $25 million range.
Headquartered in Urnieta, Spain, the company has plants in Spain, China and India, and it employs about 100. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
A Wabtec spokesman said both the work force and plants will be retained. “Of course, long-term employment levels are always based on business/market conditions, whether that's a new acquisition or any existing Wabtec business,” he said. “That's why we focus on buying good companies and helping them grow.”
He said Metalocaucho will become a subsidiary of Wabtec. Its current customers include original equipment manufacturers and transit agencies throughout Europe, China and India. With Wabtec in the picture, that base likely will grow.
“Metalocaucho expands our geographic footprint in key markets with key customers and broadens our existing portfolio of specialty rubber components,” said Raymond T. Betler, Wabtec's president and CEO.
He said Wabtec, based in the Pittsburgh suburb of Wilmerding, sees opportunities “to grow the business by integrating its products into our distribution channels, especially in North America, by leveraging its existing customer relationships.”
Metalocaucho adds to Wabtec's rubber product operations, which are about 5 percent of the firm's total sales. In 2014, the company's sales were at a little more than $3 billion.
Wabtec is anticipating another strong year financially in 2015, Betler said in April. At that time, the firm released its sales and earnings for the first quarter, which jumped to $819 million, 18 percent higher than those recorded in the like period in 2014. Income from operations of $148 million was up from $122 million recorded in the same period last year.
He said the company will continue to face challenges throughout 2015, “including global economic uncertainty and foreign exchange headwinds, but we expect to benefit from our strong backlog and from ongoing investment in freight rail and passenger transit projects around the world.”
Wabtec's origins date back to 1869 when Westinghouse Air Brake Co. was founded. Its name is derived from Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp., formed by the merger of Westinghouse Air Brake and MotivePower Industries Corp. in 1999.