Dallas company buys Westinghouse division

January 04, 1995|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,Sun Staff Writer

Westinghouse Electric Corp. has sold a local unit that produces equipment to monitor the movement of transit buses, as part of the company's plan to shed noncore commercial ventures.

E-Systems Inc.'s purchase of the Westinghouse Transportation Management Systems, which has 23 employees in Baltimore, was not expected to change management or the size of the work force.

Precise figures were not disclosed, but John E. Kumpf, a spokesman for Dallas-based E-Systems, said the cash transaction was valued at less than $10 million. He said the Westinghouse unit was profitable, but neither side would disclose sales or earnings figures.

The Transportation Management unit, established in 1991 by Westinghouse's Electronic Systems Group in Linthicum, was created as part of a previous corporate strategy to reduce the company's dependence on military contracts by moving into commercial markets.

The unit is involved in the production of electronic equipment that allows mass transit companies to locate their buses and communicate with drivers. The company provided systems for mass transportation agencies in Baltimore, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Denver and Los Angeles.

But early last year, as part of an amended corporate restructuring, Michael H. Jordan, the new chairman and chief executive of Westinghouse, decided to focus on the company's core businesses and reduce debt.

Mr. Jordan has said he wants the local defense operation to concentrate on government, foreign and Department of Defense business. The sale of the transportation unit was part of that recent restructuring, said Roy Morrow, a Westinghouse spokesman at the company's headquarters in Pittsburgh.

As part of that plan, Westinghouse announced before Christmas that it also wants to sell all, or substantially all, of its 62 percent stake in Micros Systems Inc. of Beltsville. Micros, which was a part of Electronic Systems, produces data processors used by the hotel and restaurant industries.

Maria Trintis, a spokeswoman for Westinghouse, said the Transportation Management operation would be shifted to an E-Systems plant across West Nursery Road from Electronic Systems' headquarters.

Mr. Kumpf said the Westinghouse business acquired by the Dallas defense contractor will be combined with another recent acquisition to form a new company, Transportation Management Solutions Inc.

Lowell Lawson, chairman and chief executive of E-Systems, said the new company represents another step in the company's plan to diversify and expand into related business segments.

E-Systems already produces a similar system to track the movement of transit buses and truck fleets.

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