General Electric Co.’s (NYSE: GE) transportation unit and Wabtec Corporation (NYSE: WAB) announced a merger deal valued at approximately $11.1 billion. The transaction will make Wabtec a Fortune 500 as well as establishing itself as a global leader in rail equipment in over 50 countries.
GE shares were trading 2.53 percent higher midday on Monday, while Wabtec shares were trading 3.86 percent.
In April, GE was looking into possible public offerings for one of its divisions and discussing hybrid deals with other public companies. Instead of selling assets off, the hybrid deals would leave GE shareholders with stakes in multiple public companies. The move would allow a possible turnaround for shareholders and the business itself at risky times.
The report comes shortly after Reuters reported the previous month that GE was looking into a possible spin-off of its transportation unit rather than selling.
Under the agreement, GE will receive $2.9 billion in cash at closing and GE and its shareholders will receive a 50.1 percent ownership interest in the merged company, while Wabtec shareholders receive the remaining 49.9 percent.
Wabtec Chief Executive Raymond Betler will remain as president and CEO of the merged company, while its chairman Albert Neupaver has been re-appointed executive chairman. GE’s Transportation Chief Rafael Santana will become president and CEO of Wabtec’s Freight segment while Stéphane Rambaud-Measson, will become president and CEO of Wabtec’s Transit Segment.
Following the closing, the combined company will generate about $8 billion in revenue and a 15 percent cash EPS accretion in the first year. GE transportation unit’s adjusted EBITDA is forecasted to grow from about $750 million this year to between $900 million and $1 billion in 2019.
The transaction is expected to close in early 2019.