Does MTH (or Lionel even) actually own their tooling in the Chinese factories? Seems I remember somewhere that once a tool is created over there, you lose ownership of it to the Chinese companies? Not certain if I'm correct here...
They own it, they just cannot remove it from China. If they did not own it they would not be able to make multiple runs because the Chinese recycle tooling to make more money from the tooling once a run is complete and so it cannot be pirated.
Maybe what Atlas actually got is a working factory to actually make stuff for them.