Wabtec buys Iowa locomotive builder and repairer

An image consisting of two photographs. In each photograph, there is a photo of a locomotive.

Rail equipment and locomotive manufacturer Wabtec (NYSE: WAB) has acquired RELCO Locomotives, an Iowa-based company that builds, remanufactures and repairs locomotives.

Wabtec bought RELCO for $29 million in a cash-free and debt-free transaction. Wabtec says the transaction will be accretive in its first year. RELCO’s projected 2019 sales are about $50 million. 

Wabtec says the acquisition will expand its freight services capabilities. Wabtec itself finalized its merger with locomotive manufacturer GE Transportation in February 2019.

“The complementary combination of our portfolios will create aftermarket services growth and the development of new, innovative solutions to drive improved asset utilization and reduced operating cost for customers,” said Rafael Santana, Wabtec president and CEO.

Pascal Schweitzer, Wabtec’s group president for its freight global services, said Wabtec’s remote monitoring and diagnostics and predictive maintenance capabilities will build upon RELCO’s product offerings and service and engineering capabilities related to locomotive modernizations. 

“We are excited about the long-term opportunities before us and are pleased to welcome Mark Bachman [RELCO chief operating officer] and the RELCO team to the Wabtec family,” Schweitzer said.