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MA Steel group invests in French rail supplier Valdunes

31 Oct 2014 | Investment, Mobility

China’s MA Steel acquires Valdunes, specialized in the supply and maintenance of high-performance axles, wheels and wheelsets for the rail industry.

New beginning

MA Steel has announced that it is taking over 100% of Valdunes’ assets (sites in Dunkerque and Valenciennes), along with its 487-strong workforce. The Chinese iron and steel giant will invest €50 million over five years to update this French wheelset manufacturer’s production facilities and put its business on a sustainable footing, with the ultimate goal of expanding into new markets, especially outside France. 

“This solution offers an excellent opportunity,” said Jérôme Duchange, CEO of the new MG Valdunes. “It puts our business and our workforce on a sustainable footing and lays the foundation we need to get back on track today and grow tomorrow.” 

Targeting global markets

Now part of MA Steel and renamed MG Valdunes, the company will be able to sell its technology—for both new parts and repairs—on China’s high-speed rail market and on European metro and light rail markets. MG Valdunes will also handle production of MA Steel’s current exports to Europe, which account for more than 10,000 of the 700,000 wheels manufactured annually by the Chinese group. Even before the takeover, Valdunes was exporting 45% of its output to 70 countries, and is known for its high-quality products, including the wheels used to set the world record for high-speed rail (574.8 km/h) and heavy-load wheels for mining companies in South America.

Global research center

As part of its takeover strategy, MA Steel plans to create a world-class research center for rail products within the new MG Valdunes. The company is also expected to play an active role in i Trans, Northern France’s competitiveness cluster for the transport sector. The newly expanded group aims to become the world leader in wheels and axles for the rail industry. 

Support from Nord France Invest

Nord France Invest, the economic development agency for Northern France, supported MA Steel throughout the takeover process, helping the Chinese giant settle in and establish ties to the region’s business community. 

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