Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Progress Rail to acquire Downer of Australia

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Progress Rail has signed an agreement to acquire Downer EDI’s freight rail business, Downer Freight Rail, an Australian railcar company.

Headquartered in North Ryde and with 15 maintenance facilities throughout Australia, Downer Freight Rail provides a full suite of rolling stock, aftermarket parts and services.

Progress in a statement said the acquisition would significantly strengthen its existing Australian footprint, which includes rolling stock maintenance facilities, as well as infrastructure and signaling facilities.

“This acquisition allows Progress Rail to directly serve rail customers in Australia with best-in-class products and services,” said Billy Ainsworth, President and Chief Executive of Progress Rail, and Senior Vice President of Caterpillar Inc. “It also reinforces Progress Rail’s commitment to the rail industry.”

The partnership between Progress Rail and Downer goes back nearly 70 years, with a primary focus on the former’s EMD-branded products. Historically, Progress Rail sold EMD locomotive component kits to Downer, from which Downer created its own locomotives for use in Australia. More recently, the companies collaborated on developing EMD freight locomotives for use in Australia. The locomotives are manufactured in Progress’s U.S. manufacturing facility in Muncie, Ind.

The transaction is anticipated to close in January, 2018.