Arad, 06/11/12

Astra Rail Industries restarts top quality freight wagon production in Romania


The Romanian production of freight wagon factories is restarted under one single management, for product quality and business growth

Astra Rail Industries SRL announces the takeover of the core business assets concerning the freight train wagon and rolling stock from Astra Vagoane Marfa Arad, MevaDrobeta Turnu Severin and Romvag Caracal. This is the first investment in Romania made by German private investor Thomas Manns, who has been active in Eastern Europe for the past ten years in several businesses, including the truck and trailer area.

With a combined total annual production capacity of up to 5000 freight train cars of different types, and production facilities covering a total 357,000m2 under roof surface, Astra Rail Industries has the largest manufacturing potential in Europe.

The takeover initiates the recovery of an industrial group that has already proven its ability to deliver top quality products for the rail industry. The following steps will focus on maintaining the standards that have made Astra Vagoane Marfa highly appreciated, and on raising the production
quality to the expectations of even the most demanding clients.The aim is to re-establish the industrial group as a reliable and top level supplier for the international market, on the long term.

Thomas Manns administers Astra Rail Industries together with a German-Romanian team of experienced business leaders,made up of CEO Bernd Bose and COO Fulger Popescu.

Bernd Bose has been in the truck and trailer manufacturing business for 30 years. He has acquired an extensive management experience in Germany, Russia and other countries, including several years of business activity in Romania. In joining Astra Rail Industries, Bernd Bose brings along
his extensive knowledge of top quality manufacturing procedures and high standards of business management.

Fulger Popescu has over 30 years of experience in the railway manufacturing business at factories in Romania such as Meva Drobeta Turnu Severin and Astra Vagoane Marfa Arad. His knowledge of the local workforce and organizational culture are a highly valuable asset for running a
complex and ambitious business such as the newly set up company.

Astra Rail Industries will bring the production in Arad, Caracal and Drobeta Turnu Severin under one single integrated management. The headquarters of the company is in Arad, which will be the center of operational and executive decisions for all of the three production facilities.

Astra Rail Industries contemplates immediate and long term investments in equipment, product quality and design. The initial investments will be up to 10 million euro in the first 12 months, to ensure all factories will be raisedto the utmost Western standards of quality. That adds up to the investments
made into new, state of the art processing equipment at all three factories over the past 5 years.

“In the last months customers were cautious in placing orders, due to the company’s state of insolvency. But now there is a renewed feeling of confidence, and we are being called by customers. The company is ready to take orders and to benefit from the recovery of the international market,” said Bernd Bose, CEO Astra Rail Industries.

While the company’s main distribution market is Europe, Astra Rail Industries will soon start activities in new markets, such as Russia or the Middle East.As a key player in the European rail business, Astra Rail Industries will participate at the Inno Trans fair in Berlin, September 18-21, 2012. At the event the company will showcase some of its most representative products, including a tank wagon and a bogie.

In order to meet all customer requirements, the company gives great attention to the quality of its products. It uses own testing facilities for new technologies and its Quality Management System is certified in accordance with ISO 9001:2008 by TÜV.

Under the new management and structure, Astra Rail Industries is determined to continue its good collaboration with traditional suppliers. Quality of products remains highly important, and so are
the positive relationship and commitment.

The company dedicates special attention to personnel policies. Currently, Astra Rail Industries has a total number of 1500 employees, and will continue to hire staff in the near future. At least 200 new employees will join the company’s workforce in the near future, most of them at the factory in
Drobeta Turnu Severin.

The transaction started in October 2011 and ended in the first week of July 2012. It revealed the highest complexity amongst the deals made during the same period on the Romanian M&A market and it will undoubtedly remain a corner stone transaction for this year. The takeover processspanned
several jurisdictions and was conducted with assistance from the following consultants: Musat & Asociatii, Romania, a top tier Romanian law firm with unrivaled experience in M&A deals; CMS Hasche - Sigle, Germany; Ensight Management Consulting, Romania.

“This deal was certainly one of the most challenging, both in terms of legal structure but also in terms of practicalities involved when working with a multi-party group and many disciplines and jurisdictions overlapping. It takes tremendous effort, business sense and professional maturity to lead a
team of 15 lawyers that brought such aunique exercise to a successful outcome.”
says Gelu T. Maravela, lead counsel on behalf of Musat & Asociatii.

Astra Rail Industries Manufacturing facilities
Arad, Romania. Freight Wagon and Bogie Production

The production at Arad started in 1891. In more than 100 years of activity there it was mainly manufactured rolling stock, freight wagons, passenger coaches and engines. For over a century, in Arad it has been manufactured more than a quarter of a million wagons, and exported to more than 35
countries all over the world. During successive developments, the technical endowments and the modernization of technical lines strengthened the production’s profile so that at the present the company is able to manufacture the majority of freight wagon types and Y series bogies on its site which covers 150,000m² under-roof surface.

Drobeta Turnu Severin, Romania
Freight Wagon Production, Maintenance and Refurbishment

The production started in 1882 and represented a traditional name in the railcar industry for more than 126 years. The facility area is roughly 93,000 m² where the majority of Railcar types are manufactured along with Maintenance in accordance to domestic and VPI standards.

Caracal, Romania
Freight Wagon and Bogie Production, Maintenance and, Refurbishment
The production started in 1973 and represented one of the largest worldwide output of freight wagons, focused mainly on the former Eastern Europe market. In its peak the factory employed 5,000 workers organized in three shifts producing 5,500 railcars per year. From 1973, over 70.000 new
wagons were manufactured, out of which 50,000 were exported to the ex-Soviet Union, France, Czech Republic, Republic of Slovakia, Hungary, and so on. The facility’sunder-roof surface is 114,000m².

 


For further details please contact:

Silviu Stefanescu
0726.33.77.48
silviu.stefanescu@2activepr.ro

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