Hitachi Rail Refiles Merger Notification for Acquisition of Thales’ GTS

Hitachi Rail has refiled its merger notification with the European Commission in order to seek final clearance for the acquisition of Thales’ Ground Transportation Systems (GTS).

­­This move formally restarts the merger clearance process in the European Union following its withdrawal in November 2022.

Hitachi Thales
GTS’ Operational Control Centre in Lisbon

Hitachi Rail initially announced its planned acquisition of Thales’ GTS in August 2021 under a 1,660 million EUR deal. It achieved merger clearances in 11 of the 13 required jurisdictions. However, the plan was met with opposition from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) due to its potential to reduce competition in the supply of digital signalling.

In November 2022, Hitachi Rail withdrew its EU filing after the Commission raised concerns over this potential impact.

To overcome these concerns, Hitachi has now proposed to divest portions of its signalling business, including its Hitachi Rail STS France business and its assets in digital mainline signalling in Britain.

A Hitachi Rail spokesperson, said:

“We are delighted to be in a position to refile for clearance in the EU after working extensively with the Commission on a proposed divestment package which we are satisfied will address their concerns. We look forward to continuing to progress the acquisition of Thales’ Ground Transportation Systems (GTS), which we believe will deliver value for customers in the rail signalling and mobility sectors in Europe and globally.”

In addition to refining its merger notification with the European Commission, Hitachi Rail also expects to receive a decision on the proposed transaction UK’s CMA in the near future.

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