The deal to sell Bombardier Transportation to its French rival Alstom can go ahead now that it has been given the all clear by regulators.
The proposed takeover, valued at more than six billion euros, has been approved by the European Union, subject to conditions.
The Unite union, which represents many workers at Bombardier’s site in Litchurch Lane, has previously said it has received assurances from senior executives at Bombardier about the future of the Derby train factory where around 2,000 people work.
Back in February, the parent company of Bombardier Transportation confirmed it had agreed to sell the business to Alstom.
At the time, Bombardier Inc signed a memorandum of understanding with the French firm to sell its rail business to reduce its huge debts and focus on the business jet market.
However, the deal was always subject to regulatory approval from the EU.
If it had serious competition concerns, it could have called the deal in, which would have resulted in a four-month long investigation and the possibility of it being blocked.
But since the deal was first announced, Alstom has offered a number of concessions to allay antitrust fears, such as selling off some of its existing assets.
Importantly for the Derby operation, according to the European Commission, Alstom has committed to a “series of measures” aimed at preserving Bombardier’s joint bid with Hitachi for the £2.75 billion contract to build new high-speed trains for HS2.
Now that the EU has decided not to intervene in the takeover, the combined Alstom/Bombardier business will create the world’s second largest train manufacturer, with the capacity to take on the largest, China’s CRRC Corp.
However, the European Commission said its approval was conditional “on full compliance with a commitments package offered by Alstom”.
Its executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Alstom and Bombardier are leading providers of state-of-the-art trains used every day by millions of passengers across the European Union.
“Thanks to the comprehensive remedies offered to solve the competition concerns in the areas of very high-speed, mainline trains and mainline signalling, the commission has been able to speedily review and approve this transaction.
“Going forward, a stronger combined Alstom and Bombardier entity will emerge.
“At the same time, thanks to these remedies, the new company will also continue to be challenged in its core markets to the benefit of European customers and consumers.”
Sign up for the Derbyshire Live newsletter
To receive a maximum of two FREE daily bulletin e-mails from us, as well as breaking news as it happens, sign up to the Derbyshire Live newsletter.
Just select the newsletters you receive from our East Midlands sites here.
And if you later decide that you no longer wish to receive the emails, you can just follow the unsubscribe link in the newsletters – though we hope this won’t ever be necessary.
Headquartered in Berlin, Bombardier Transportation’s UK train-making factory is in Litchurch Lane, Derby.
The site is currently busy delivering several major orders to key customers, including West Midlands Trains, Greater Anglia and South Western Railway.