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Industrial brands group Barloworld (BAW) and Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. (EMD), a subsidiary of Progress Rail Services Corp., a Caterpillar company, have formed a joint venture - Electro-Motive Diesel Africa.

The new joint venture will provide rail and transit customers with industry-leading locomotive products and services, including access to cutting-edge diesel and emissions technology.

Effective June 2012, Electro-Motive Diesel Africa will offer services and solutions to rail customers in South Africa and neighbouring countries, leveraging EMD's and Barloworld's existing resources in the region.

EMD has a significant fleet of locomotives in SA. This new venture demonstrates its strong commitment to harness local skills, create jobs and extend a full range of services to customers. The formation of Electro-Motive Diesel Africa also further demonstrates the company's dedication to growing its already well-known global footprint.

“Africa is an important market for us and the joint venture with an established company, like Barloworld in southern Africa, will position us well to support the needs of existing and new customers in South Africa and the region,” said Billy Ainsworth, CEO of Progress Rail and EMD.

“Our commitment to support the customer base and build a customer-focused business that will increase local procurement of parts is a key objective. We are delighted to now be able to offer a complete range of rail services via the new joint venture company.”

Barloworld CEO Clive Thomson said the venture into rail is consistent with the group's strategy to invest in identified growth sectors to create value for stakeholders.

“We look forward to delivering improved service to existing customers and developing new relationships with suppliers in South Africa and in the region.”

The transaction closed on June 15. - I-Net Bridge