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Siemens takes new direction by buying trip-planning firm

FRANKFURT, April 28 Germany's Siemens has moved into journey planning with the purchase of privately-owned Hannover-based firm HaCon to complement its transportation business, which it has been talking about merging with Bombardier's.

HaCon, with 290 staff, offers trip-planning, mobile-ticketing and fleet-management products, including via apps, for public and private transport in 25 countries and says it supplies more than 100 million route calculations per day.

Siemens' transportation unit, a business with 7.8 billion euros ($8.5 billion) in annual sales, offers rolling stock, signalling, and automation and power systems for rail and road.

"The acquisition of HaCon will enable us to enter a completely new business area that complements our current portfolio, expanding it to include timetable scheduling as well as trip planning by passengers," Siemens Mobility division Chief Executive Jochen Eickholt said in a statement on Friday.

Siemens said the parties had agreed not to disclose the price for the purchase, which is expected to close in the first half of this year if approved by anti-trust authorities.

It said HaCon would be managed as a separate legal entity and wholly owned subsidiary of its Mobility division. ($1 = 0.9143 euros) (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; editing by Alexander Smith)

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