U.S. buyout firm Advent International Corp. agreed to acquire U.K. defense and aerospace company Cobham Plc for about 4 billion pounds ($5 billion), as cash-flush private-equity firms seek targets in Britain.
Cobham shareholders will receive 165 pence a share in cash, a 34% premium to the closing price on Wednesday, the companies said in a statement Thursday. The stock traded 35% higher at 165.35 pence as of 10:53 a.m. in London.
The purchase of Cobham, which makes electronics, communications gear and specialized equipment for aircraft and ships, marks at least the second takeover of a U.K. defense firm since the start of 2018, when Melrose Industries Plc bought GKN Plc in a hostile deal. That purchase initially met pushback from the U.K. on national security grounds, as has the proposed sale this year of satellite operator Inmarsat Plc to a group of buyout funds.
“There may regulatory and political scrutiny of this deal,” Neil Wilson, an analyst at Markets.com, said of the Cobham transaction. (end of excerpt)
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Click here for the related announcement by Cobham, on the company’s website.