A North East engineering firm has been acquired by a global technology leader in a lucrative deal which will see it become an international centre of excellence.For more than 35 years the GT Group, headquartered in Peterlee, County Durham , has specialised in environmental engineering, currently serving customers in more than 60 countries.Now the group has been bought out by Munich-based Knorr-Bremse AG, a family-owned firm which is the world’s leading manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles, with sales reaching almost 6 billion euros in 2015.

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Thanks to the proven track record regarding product quality and high customer satisfaction, we can grow with GT Group in new regions, too.

We will be able to join forces and leverage synergies fast and strengthen our market position in Europe and North America.” Knorr-Bremse Group will also support the growth of GT Group’s other international business units, which cover a diverse range of engineering activities.

GT Group was founded more than 30 years ago by Geoff Turnbull and currently employs in excess of 250 people, many of which have spent their entire careers with the business.

GT Group produces, amongst others, exhaust gas control systems for on and off-highway vehicles, construction equipment and industrial and marine applications for global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

“The strategic fit of GT Group to Knorr-Bremse and the strong position of our combined businesses will enable us to meet the needs of our worldwide customers in the engine air management business even more comprehensively,” said Dr Peter Laier, member of the executive board of Knorr-Bremse AG, responsible for the commercial vehicle systems division.

“We access in-depth know-how in new technologies as GT’s mechatronic exhaust valves complement Knorr-Bremse’s existing product portfolio in Asia.Therefore we are planning a close engineering collaboration especially between GT Emissions Systems and our subsidiaries in Japan and China.Established more than 110 years ago, Knorr-Bremse as been making a contribution to greater safety by road and rail through its products and employs around 1,000 people in the UK at seven facilities.The transaction was made for an undisclosed sum, taking into consideration GT Group’s position as debt-free organisation with a forecasted order book of several hundred million pounds.Chairman Geoff Turnbull is retiring from the business to pursue other interests, most notably his growing racehorse breeding enterprise at Elwick Stud, but the rest of the management team will remain in place, while the Peterlee base will become a global centre of excellence for commercial vehicle emission systems.Knorr-Bremse’s global operations will be complemented by GT Group’s advanced environmental engineering, in the field of emission control.