German electronics conglomerate Siemens AG said Wednesday that it has agreed to pay $2.8 billion to acquire a railway unit now owned by U.K. engineering company Invensys.

In announcing the deal, Siemens said that its acquisition of Invensys Rail—which creates software used for railway signaling and traffic control—is part of the company’s effort to expand its presence in the rail automation market. Siemens will integrate the Invensys unit into its own rail business, which makes high-speed trains and railway power supplies while operating a signaling business of its own. Siemens expects the market for rail automation to grow in coming years as urban growth around the world sparks an expansion of commuter systems.

The deal with Invensys is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013, pending the approval of regulators and Invensys shareholders. The latter are to vote on the deal at a general meeting set for next month.

Siemens also announced plans to sell some of its baggage-handling and parcel-sorting divisions in an effort to shed what the company called “a noncore business.”

Linklaters is advising Siemens on the acquisition with a team led by London corporate partners Roger Barron and Iain Wagstaff. U.K. legal publication The Lawyer notes that this deal marks the first time Siemens has tapped Linklaters to handle transactional work. The firm has frequently been on the opposite side of the negotiating table from Siemens in the past. In 2008, for instance, Linklaters advised SPX Corporation on its sale of a steam generator business to a Siemens division for an undisclosed amount. The firm also served as counsel to software company IBS AG in 2007 in connection with a public takeover bid by Siemens that was ultimately rejected.

Former Morgan, Lewis & Bockius partner Peter Solmssen is the head of corporate legal and compliance at Siemens.

Invensys, meanwhile, has turned to a Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer team led by corporate partners Barry O’Brien and Ben Spiers. Spiers’s bio on the Freshfields website notes that he serves as the firm’s relationship partner for Invensys.

Victoria Hull serves as chief legal officer for Invensys.