L.B. Foster-Portec merger back on track

Dec 20, 2010 | 12:49 PM |

The merger of L.B. Foster & Co. and Portec Rail Products Inc. is finally moving ahead after at least three years of discussions and a lawsuit by shareholders.

Following what he called an "arduous" process, Stan L. Hasselbusch, L.B. Foster's president and chief executive officer, said he is relieved that the U.S. Justice Department approved the deal, which creates a $600-million company with a larger footprint in the railroad industry and greater opportunities for foreign expansion.

The $114-million merger of the two Pittsburgh-based companies was agreed to by handshake in November 2009 and announced in February. It was originally expected to close in the second quarter of this year, but a class-action lawsuit by certain Portec shareholders—who alleged that board chairman Marshall T. Reynolds didn't properly entertain more lucrative offers—led to an April 21 injunction by an Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas judge that temporarily halted the sale.....

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