We won't ever know, but it would be interesting to know the terms of the agreement. Seems unlikely to me a big capital expenditure was involved, given the state of the market. I'd guess this is a licensing agreement that allows Atlas to produce MTH products at the Chinese factory or factories currently producing these products. Based upon production numbers, not outright purchase of tooling most likely. Thus if the first production runs don't do well, we may not see much in future. Just a consideration for those who want to see this succeed. Buy the first production runs if you want to see future production runs. Not rocket science .
This isn't a licensing agreement. The exact wording from the press release is:
"Hillside, NJ – Atlas Model Railroad Company, Inc. is proud to announce the purchase of a variety of tooling in the M.T.H. Premier O Scale Locomotive and Rolling Stock lines from M.T.H. Electric Trains of Columbia, MD."
What Atlas did license is the Proto-3 electronics.