Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (Kongsberg), a subsidiary of Kongsberg Gruppen, has entered into agreement with the Norwegian Ministry of Defence for the acquisition of Aerospace Industrial Maintenance Norway AS (AIM).
AIM is the Norwegian armed force’s business for maintenance, overhaul and upgrade of the Air Force’s aircraft and helicopters. In order to further strengthen deliveries, capability and competence Kongsberg has entered into agreement with Patria for a shared ownership where Kongsberg is the majority shareholder with 50.1% ownership and Patria with 49.9%.
Patria will contribute with important experience and competence within maintenance, and the two companies will combined ensure a solid foundation for further development. The acquisition is a major step in consolidating the Norwegian industry’s competence and capability for military aircraft and helicopter maintenance.
“The acquisition of AIM is a significant milestone to strengthen Kongsberg’s role as a strategic partner for the Norwegian armed force’s operative requirements, both as a supplier of equipment and for maintenance. With this acquisition our ownership in the Nordic defence industry is further strengthened and we are taking new, important steps in the Nordic and international defence market,” says CEO of Kongsberg Gruppen, Geir Håøy.
AIM has played a major role in Norwegian aviation industry since 1916 and has 440 employees. The company has its main operating base at Kjeller and an operative unit at Rygge air station. AIM has 100% ownership in the Belgium Engine Center SPRL(BEC) in Herstal outside of Liege in Belgium. The AIM Group conducts advanced and heavy maintenance, overhaul and upgrade primarily within air military operations. Important priorities are engine maintenance for the new F-35 aircraft and for Norway’s new search and rescue helicopters.
“For the last 30 years Kongsberg has conducted maintenance and repairs of gearboxes and rotor heads for Sea King helicopters. In 2018 this was expanded with a gear box and test facility for maintenance of more than a hundred military helicopters in the Nordics and other nations. In conjunction with the extensive operations we have for air defence systems, aircraft parts and missiles for the F-35, this acquisition makes us a more complete supplier with increased strategic importance to the Norwegian Air Force,” says Eirik Lie, President of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.
An important factor during the acquisition process has been to facilitate the development of AIM to become a main provider of maintenance of the Norwegian Defense force’s air force systems, so that AIM can contribute to safeguard national readiness on such maintenance. This co-operation will strengthen national ability to sustain a qualified readiness for such competence in Norway.
“Kongsberg and the Norwegian armed forces have entered into a strategic agreement which will provide basis for future maintenance work through AIM. We see considerable opportunities within advanced maintenance, and the acquisition will secure national readiness and entail more cost-efficient maintenance of the armed force’s aircraft and helicopters. The acquisition strengthens our position in the Nordic maintenance market, where we are now taking a next step in the Nordic defence industry alliance we established with the purchase of 49.9 per cent of Patria in 2016. Our joint team is looking forward to welcome highly skilled AIM employees, and we are looking forward to our combined future performance,” Lie continues.
AIM Group is expected to have a revenue of around NOK 1 billion and an EBITDA margin of 8-9% for 2018. The parties have agreed an enterprise value of NOK 151 million, on a cash and debt free basis, and with normalized working capital. This value reflects i.a. a commitment for AIM to invest around NOK 540 million in the new F-35 national facility at Rygge over the next 2-3 years.
The acquisition is subject to among others, approval by relevant authorities, and is expected to be finalized during H1 2019. The purchase price will be financed by available cash and finally settled in 2023. The purchase price will be subject to certain post-closing adjustments.
Kongsberg is an international, knowledge-based group delivering high technology systems and solutions to clients within the oil and gas industry, merchant marine, defence and aerospace. Kongsberg has 7 000 employees located in more than 25 countries and total revenues of NOK 14.5 billion in 2017.
This information is subject to disclosure requirements pursuant to §5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.