Airbus Completes Divestment of its Defence Electronics Unit to KKR
(Source: Airbus Group; issued Feb 28, 2017)
AMSTERDAM --- Airbus has finalised the sale of its Germany-based Defence Electronics business to KKR, a leading global investment firm, following the receipt of regulatory and other approvals, including from the German government.

The France-based portion of the business will be transferred to KKR once the carve-out of the French entity in Elancourt, near Paris, is completed. The closing of this part of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval from the French government.

KKR acquires the business for an enterprise value of approximately € 1.1 billion. Airbus has agreed to maintain a 25.1% minority stake for a limited number of years post-closing until the full separation of the sites. This measure will facilitate a smooth transition for employees and business stakeholders.

The Defence Electronics activity, which will be renamed Hensoldt, is a global provider of mission-critical sensors, integrated systems and services for premium defence and security applications.

Headquartered in Ottobrunn, Germany, it has around 4,000 employees worldwide, with annual revenues of around € 1 billion.

“We are pleased to finalise this transaction, which represents another major step forward in the strategic rationalisation of Airbus’ defence activities,” said Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space. “After streamlining our portfolio, we are now well positioned with a clear focus on smarter products, more service-based offerings and accelerating digital innovation.”

Johannes Huth, Member and Head of KKR Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “KKR will support the growth and development of Hensoldt into a leading European defence company with its financial resources and its extensive experience building successful industrial companies, such as MTU Aero Engines, Demag Cranes and Kion.”


Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2016, it generated revenues of € 67 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as Europe’s number one space enterprise and the world’s second largest space business. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

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New European Defence Company HENSOLDT Launched
(Source: Hensoldt; issued Feb 28, 2017)
TAUFKIRCHEN, Germany --- Following the closing of the transaction between Airbus Group SE and KKR, a leading global investment firm, a new European defence company headquartered in Germany, HENSOLDT, has been launched.

The new company employs 4,000 highly qualified staff, about 3,400 in Germany and 600 in South Africa. The main industrial sites are Taufkirchen/Munich, Ulm, Friedrichshafen and Oberkochen in Germany and Pretoria in South Africa. A dedicated representative office in Berlin has been established and several offices represent the new enterprise in countries like India, US, Chile, Brazil, South Korea and Spain.

The new company, headquartered in Taufkirchen close to Munich, will be led by an Executive Committee comprising CEO Thomas Müller, head of HR Peter Fieser, head of Finance Axel Salzmann and head of Operations Peter Schlote.

Further members of the Executive Committee are head of Electronic Warfare/Situational Awareness Uwe Virkus, head of Radar/IFF/Data links Erwin Paulus, head of Optronics Andreas Hülle, head of Sales & Marketing Sabine K. Hipp, head of Strategic Business Development Celia Pelaz and General Counsel Solms U. Wittig.

The HENSOLDT brand derives from Moritz Carl Hensoldt (1821-1903), a German pioneer of optics and precision mechanics, who developed benchmark technology solutions and products in his field. The name HENSOLDT stands for premium solutions, combining excellence, innovation and efficiency.

HENSOLDT will provide leading edge technology solutions to armed forces and security agencies. Firmly grounded in its three product lines - Optronics, Radar/IFF/Datalink and Electronic Warfare/Situational Awareness – the company offers sensor solutions for air, sea and land applications. This includes the protection of critical infrastructures, air defence, airborne self-protection, vehicle and convoy protection, signal intelligence and data links, as well as night vision, thermal imaging, laser range-finding and optronic targeting. Furthermore, the portfolio comprises mission avionics equipment, such as computers, mission planning devices and situational awareness systems for helicopters.

HENSOLDT is a key contributor to major European defence acquisition programs and has demonstrated its global reach by winning a number of international contracts. Among the most prominent air and space platforms equipped by HENSOLDT are the F-16, Eurofighter, Gripen and Rafale combat aircraft, the Tandem-X and EDRS-A satellites, the A400M transport aircraft, as well as helicopters of various types.

Furthermore, the company provides mission-critical equipment to the PUMA and LEOPARD II armoured vehicles, the class 212 and 209 submarines, the US Navy “Freedom” class Littoral Combat Ship and the German Navy F125 frigate. HENSOLDT’s sights and night vision optics have also been chosen for the German Future Soldier Programme “Infanterist der Zukunft”.

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