In view of the many mergers and ownership changes I will give a rough enumeration of my company’s history.
Brown, Boveri Ltd (BBC) was founded in 1891 in Baden (Switzerland) as an electrical engineering supplier. The owners, Charles E.L. Brown (1863-1924) and Walter Boveri (1865-1924) worked with Oerlikon Engineering Company Ltd (MFO) [where I spent my years of apprenticeship] before. MFO dates of 1876 and produced its first electric locomotive in 1891. The partner for the mechanical part of locomotives, Swiss Locomotives and Machine Works (SLM) in Winterthur started its activities as early as in 1871. There were also two smaller firms: Alioth, Münchenstein and Sécheron SA, Geneva. All companies were heavily involved in the electrification programs of the national railways but did also exports.
In 1967 BBC took control of MFO, and in 1970 of Sécheron. In 1988 ASEA from Sweden and ABB have merged to form ABB. Both had remarkable records for rolling stock equipment.
In 1995 ABB and German technology group Daimler-Benz announced the merger of their worldwide rail transportation activities into a 50-50 joint venture called ABB Daimler-Benz Transportation (Adtranz).
In 1999 ABB sold its share to DaimlerChrysler. The latter started a drastic restructuring program that included the shutdown of the Swiss works. Again in 2001 DaimlerChrysler sold Adtranz to Bombardier from Canada, which became the biggest supplier of rolling stock world wide.
Beside the Swiss locomotive manufacturers were a few railway car builders: SIG, Schindler, ACMV. They were taken over or had disappeared. In contrast to, a small niche player has become a manufacturer of international reputation: Stadler Rail Group with facilities in Bussnang, Altenrhein and Winterthur (Switzerland), Berlin and Weiden (Germany), Siedlce (Poland) and Budapest (Hungary).
To conclude, ABB has not only sold off its transportation activities but also Power Generation to the French Alstom.
On the 2nd November 2015 Alstom closed the sale of its Energy activities (Power generation and Grid) to General Electric/USA.