Chinese rail company buys UK maritime engineering firm

UK ocean engineering product manufacturer Specialist Machine Developments (SMD) has been bought by a subsidiary of China South Rail (CSR).

It’s believed Zhouzou CSR Times Electric paid £130m for the Tyneside firm, which makes remotely operated underwater vehicles, many of which are used in underwater mining.

CSR president Liu Hualong said it would help SMD expand its operations and unlock further global opportunities.

It will pursue this goal under direction of the existing managerial team.

The company currently exports to 30 countries, with a new Chinese subsidiary being established to help gain a strong foothold in the Chinese maritime market.

The move comes after Zhouzou CSR Times Electric previously made its intentions clear to diversify its strategy and expand beyond just high-speed rail.