American firm Wabtec Corporation has taken over the railway friction business from India-based Masu, which makes friction offerings for the automotive and rail sectors.

Worth around $34m, the deal is said to be one of the first acquisitions in India following the merger of GE Transportation and Wabtec in 2019.

This transaction has already obtained regulatory approval and is now subject to customary closing requirements.

According to Wabtec, the acquisition is expected to strengthen its installed base, as well as expand its brake product portfolio.

Through this takeover, Wabtec will also be able to fortify its position as a ‘leading rail manufacturer in India’.

Wabtec transit business president Lilian Leroux said: “Masu is a strategic acquisition for Wabtec that complements our product portfolio and builds upon our leadership position in the railway friction market.

“It aligns with our growth strategy to provide operators with innovative, scalable products that increase productivity, utilisation, and capacity. We have now state-of-the-art friction manufacturing capabilities on every continent and will better serve operators and car-builders around the world, reducing operating costs while improving performance.” 

Wabtec India senior vice-president and regional leader Sujatha Narayan added: “We have a strong brakes portfolio in India supplying brake systems on Indian Railways’ locomotives and LHB coaches, as well as metros. This acquisition will strengthen Wabtec’s position as a ‘Made in India’ manufacturer, provide an attractive offering for customers, and open new opportunities for regional and international expansion.”

Wabtec offers equipment, systems, digital solutions and value-added services for the freight and transit rail sectors.

With more than 150 years of experience in the rail industry, the firm aims to attain a low to zero-emission rail solution in the US and worldwide.

In November 2021, Canadian National Railway (CN) purchased the FLXdrive battery-electric freight locomotive from Wabtec.