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MARK IV ACQUIRES DANISH FIRM

Mark IV Industries has acquired a Danish company that makes passenger information systems used by the railway industry, the Amherst-based manufacturer said Thursday.

The acquisition of Focon Electronic Systems AS from Sandma Holsing AS will add about $12 million to Mark IV's sales and give it a broader line of information, entertainment and surveillance systems for the passenger train industry.

The Focon products will complement the systems that Mark IV currently makes for the mass transit bus and train markets, said David Oliver, the president of Mark IV's transportation products group.

"The trend toward industry consolidation both for train and bus manufacturers increases the demands on their suppliers to provide a more comprehensive product line offering," he said.

Focon, which is based in Sonderborg, Denmark, has 90 employees and had a backlog of orders that exceeded $30 million at the end of April.

The acquisition is the first for Mark IV since it was acquired for $2 billion earlier this month by a British buyout firm, BC Partners, in what was largest takeover of a U.S. company by a British private equity firm.

Fieldbrook Farms
gets $500,000 grant
Empire State Development Corp., a state economic development agency, approved a capital grant of $500,000 to Fieldbrook Farms in Dunkirk as part of the ice cream company's recently completed $2.5 million expansion.

The company, located in Dunkirk's state economic development zone, has added 100 workers, bringing its work force to 350. The expansion allowed the company to add whipped topping to its product line.

Empire State Development also approved a previously announced $100,000 grant to National Air Cargo for a $2.9 million expansion of its Orchard Park facility.

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