The deal was signed by the CEOs of Ricardo, Mr Dave Shemmans (pictured left), and Lloyd's Register Mr Richard Saddler, and the acquisition is expected to be completed by July 1. Ricardo will then merge Lloyd's Register Rail with its own railway industry team to form Ricardo Rail. The new organisation will be run by Mr Paul Seller, currently managing director of Lloyd's Register Rail, who will have the same position at Ricardo Rail.

Lloyd's Register Group decided last year to sell its railway consulting division, which generated a turnover of £48.1m in 2014 and employs 440 railway engineers and specialists in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The company provides expert advice on rolling stock design, signalling and train control, intelligent railway systems, railway operation, training and independent assurance services.

Ricardo has expertise in locomotive and multiple unit power-train and drive-line systems, and conducts research and concept development as well as series manufacture of specialist railway products.

Ricardo will also set up Ricardo Certification, a standalone assurance management division which will provide independent railway assurance services.