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Adtranz falls into Canadian hands

Rail technology company Adtranz plans to close two plants in Switzerland. DaimlerChrysler

The German rail technology group, Adtranz, is to be bought by Canada's Bombardier group in a deal worth SFr1.21 billion.

This content was published on August 4, 2000 - 14:45

Adtranz, which is owned by DaimlerChrysler, last year announced it was closing two plants in Switzerland, with the loss of 710 jobs.

The deal was announced on Friday by DaimlerChrysler, and has still to be approved by the competition authorities.

DaimlerChrysler boss, Jurgen Schrempp, said the sell-off would enable the company to focus on automobile manufacturing. He added he was confident that Adtranz was in safe hands at Bombardier.

On Thursday, heavy trading activity in Bombardier shares prompted the Toronto Stock Exchange to halt trading in the stock.

Adtranz hit the news in Switzerland last November when it announced it was closing its two Swiss plants at Pratteln near Basel and Oerlikon near Zurich.

Efforts are continuing by employees to save at least one of the plants because they argue that Adtranz Switzerland is one of the strongest performers in the group, producing 10 per cent of total turnover with only five per cent of group staff.

The Swiss Federal Railways, the leading customer of Adtranz Switzerland, expressed disappointment at the planned closures, saying they were a heavy loss and would mean the disappearance of technological know-how.

Adtranz, which made heavy losses last year, was established as a joint venture of ABB and Daimler-Benz (now DaimlerChrysler). In early 1999, DaimlerChrysler took over the ABB share of the venture.

swissinfo with agencies

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