GE will receive a $2.9 billion up-front cash payment, and GE and its shareholders will receive a 50.1% ownership interest in the combined company. Based on Wabtec’s stock price on April 19, 2018, the last unaffected trading day prior to media speculation regarding a potential transaction, the value of the transaction is approximately $11.1 billion.
Wabtec and GE Transportation will be combined in a transaction in which GE will sell a portion of the assets of GE Transportation to Wabtec, complete the spin-off or split-off of a portion of GE Transportation to GE shareholders and immediately thereafter merge GE Transportation with a wholly owned subsidiary of Wabtec.
Upon closing, Wabtec shareholders will own approximately 49.9%, and it is planned that GE shareholders will own approximately 40.2%, and GE will own 9.9% of the merged company on a fully diluted basis. GE has the right to increase the portion of the merged company owned by GE shareholders (subject to a corresponding reduction in GE’s ownership).
Wabtec has obtained full commitments for a $2.9 billion bridge facility and expects to put in place permanent debt financing prior to closing.
The transaction is expected to close in early 2019, subject to customary closing conditions, approval by Wabtec shareholders and regulatory approvals.
The combination will bring together two global companies in rail equipment, services and software, combining GE Transportation, a global digital industrial company and supplier to the rail, mining, marine, stationary power and drilling industries, with Wabtec’s range of freight, transit and electronics solutions.
Effective immediately, Wabtec Chairman Albert J. Neupaver has been re-appointed executive chairman of the company, while Raymond T. Betler remains Wabtec’s president and CEO. Following the completion of the transaction, Stéphane Rambaud-Measson will become president and CEO of Wabtec’s Transit Segment and Rafael Santana, president and CEO of GE Transportation, will become president and CEO of Wabtec’s Freight Segment.
Betler said, “Wabtec and GE Transportation are global industry leaders and we believe that together we have a unique opportunity to drive tremendous growth in 2019 and beyond as the industry continues to improve. By bringing together our highly complementary strengths we are confident that this transformational combination will create value for both Wabtec and GE shareholders, innovative solutions for our customers, and new outlets for long-term career growth for our employees. Our two companies have more than 250 years of rail industry heritage, and our shared focus on safety, reliability, quality, and customer relationships will enable a smooth integration.”
Santana said, “The combination of our two strong brands and remarkable people is an excellent fit that will create an organization well-positioned to accelerate the future of transportation. Together, we can expand our global reach, strengthen our market capabilities and lead digital innovation across the transportation industry. We are seeing growth in rail traffic and recent promising orders for new and modernized locomotives from North American Class I, Shortlines and international railroads, and are confident in the compelling long-term opportunities and synergies before us.”