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Roundup: Wabtec to acquire U.K.-based manufacturer for $215M; MSA 4Q profit rose 30% on higher sales; more

| Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Wabtec to acquire U.K.-based manufacturer for $215M

Wabtec Corp. agreed to acquire Fandstan Electric Group Ltd., a rail and industrial equipment manufacturer based in London, for about $215 million in cash. Fandstan has annual sales of about $235 million. Wabtec, based in Wilmerding, expects the transaction to be completed by March 31. The company plans to issue fourth quarter 2013 results on Feb. 19, and a 2014 forecast that will include Fandstan. Fandstan Electric makes electrical and data collection products for rail and tram transportation, industrial and energy markets. It has about 1,000 employees and operations in the United Kingdom, Europe, China, Australia, and the United States. “Fandstan Electric will expand our high-technology content on transit vehicles and provides another entry into the infrastructure segment of the market,” said Wabtec CEO Albert J. Neupaver.

MSA 4Q profit rose 30% on higher sales

Mine Safety Appliances Co. said on Wednesday that profit rose 30 percent in the final three months of 2013 as sales increased. The Cranberry-based safety equipment maker said fourth-quarter net income was $25.4 million, or 67 cents a share. Revenue rose to $291.4 million from $282.3 million in the same period of 2012. The company's stock price rose to $51.63 as the market opened, up from $49.25 at Tuesday's close. “Consistent growth in our five core product groups, combined with a strong fourth-quarter performance in emerging markets, certainly provides momentum as we start 2014,” said CEO William M. Lambert.

Lexus tops 2014 dependability list

Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac had the vehicles with the fewest reported problems, according to J.D. Power and Associates' annual survey of vehicle dependability. Lexus had just 68 problems per 100 vehicles, the only brand with fewer than 100 problems. Owners of three-year-old vehicles are reporting more problems than they did a year ago — an average of 133 problems per 100 vehicles, up from 126 a year ago. It's the first time since 1998 that the average number of problems per vehicle has increased. J.D. Power, a California-based ratings and consulting company, said engine issues accounted for most of the increase in problems reported by the original owners of cars and trucks from the 2011 model year. David Sargent, J.D. Power's vice president of global automotive, said the company recorded an increase in complaints about engine hesitation, rough transmission shifts and lack of power.

Rice Energy to buy new pipeline system

Rice Energy Inc. announced on Wednesday that it will buy a new pipeline system in eastern Washington and Greene counties. A subsidiary of the Cecil drilling company is paying $110 million in cash for the M3 Appalachia Gathering LLC network. The assets include 28 miles of pipe from 6 to 16 inches wide that gathers gas from the wells, and permits and rights of way to build an 18-mile track of 30-inch pipe to connect the local system to the interstate system, it said. Rice, which recently went public, expects to have a total capacity of more than 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.

— Staff and wire reports

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