UK government set to approve Cobham takeover

Tue, 19 Nov 2019 | BUSINESS SALE



The British government is poised to approve the $5 billion takeover of defence company Cobham by US private equity firm Advent.

The deal, which was originally announced in July of this year, had been held up while Defence Minister Andrea Leadsom established whether it would pose a risk to national security.

However, the UK government is now minded to accept the deal after Advent made a number of commitments to assuage concerns. These commitments include placing a number of British executives on Cobham’s board, strengthening security at sensitive locations and informing the Ministry of Defence if it decides to sell Cobham in future.

The government will now run a consultation on Advent’s proposals until December 17. The deal would represent the first major takeover of a British company since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July.

In a statement, Andrea Leadsom said: “No decision will be taken on whether to accept the undertakings until the consultation has closed and the representations have been carefully considered.”

Shonnel Malani, partner at Advent, said: “Following the CMA’s review, we have worked closely with the Ministry of Defence to construct undertakings that would adequately mitigate against any potential national security risks and we welcome today’s decision by the secretary of state to propose to accept those undertakings, subject to consultation.”

Cobham was launched in the 1930s and now produces technology utilised in aircraft, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Eurofighter Typhoon, as well as in advanced naval vessels, satellites and military vehicles. The company currently employs around 10,000 people.


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