WBN – Waggonbau Niesky GmbH
This long-established German company is one of the leading developers and manufacturers of freight cars and bogies in Europe. In a 2014 carve-out, Deutsche Bahn AG sold a 100% stake in its subsidiary to Quantum Capital Partners AG.
The Munich-based holding recognised the opportunities and potential of the medium-sized company: WBN represents German engineering expertise, and is the European quality leader in the construction of specialist freight cars and high-speed bogies. The railway car manufacturer supplies international customers from the railway industry and is the only European company with access to the Saudi Arabian and Emirati markets.
- Situation before the takeover: Decreasing sales and high losses; part of Deutsche Bahn AG with a strong dependence on the parent company
- Key measures after takeover: turnaround – restructuring and focus on the core values of innovation, quality and autonomy
- Current situation: Significant enhancement in sales as well as return to sustainable profitability
Solution: measures after the takeover
QCP focused on rapid restructuring at WBN to secure jobs and increase sales. The investors achieved a turnaround with the following measures within just a year after the takeover:
- Successful carve-out
- Financial restructuring
- Repositioning as an independent, innovative, premium manufacturer of specialist freight cars, bogies and other vehicle components
- Establishment of new management to boost incoming orders
- Internationalisation of purchasing
- New product innovations
New high-speed bogie: WBN is the benchmark
The core business of the European technology and quality leader is is developing and manufacturing innovative freight cars. However, the company is also setting new standards in the development and construction of modern bogies: the DRRS 25 LD high-speed bogie is currently the global benchmark.
This latest innovation from WBN is versatile and extremely strong. It is also quieter than conventional bogies and up to 30% cheaper to maintain. The quality bogie is certified for velocities of up to 200 km/h. Already approved in Germany, the high-speed DRRS 25 LD has now also met requirements for the Chinese market.
“Made in Germany” is what the blue chips want
The established German company has nearly 100 years of experience in railway vehicle manufacturing. Around 300 highly qualified technicians and engineers now work at WBN on developing solutions for special transport and logistics requirements. The focus throughout the production process is the specific needs of the company’s international customers.
Railway construction firms such as Siemens AG and railway operators including the Austrian Federal Railways ÖBB and Deutsche Bahn AG all benefit from WBN’s professional and strategic approach. WBN can guarantee quality, reliability and short times to market. The company’s comprehensive service portfolio not only includes developing and manufacturing, but also the approval of wagons and the single components. WBN processes orders from its wide customer base with a strong focus on tailor-made solutions and comprehensive customer support.
Despite the short time since the initial investment, the various measures implemented are already sustainably strengthening WBN.
- Sales in 2015: EUR 72.7m
- EBITDA margin: +2.9%
- Historical record in order backlog
Its profitable growth strategy is backed by a strong order book amounting to more than EUR 200m offering a high sales and profit visibility.