LONDON --- U.S. private equity firm Advent International won its battle to buy Britain’s Cobham for $5 billion on Monday, taking advantage of the weak pound to pounce on the defence and aerospace group that pioneered air-to-air refuelling.
Chairman Jamie Pike told a shareholder meeting the management had “pushed as hard as they could push” and engaged in some “arm wrestling” before finally settling on a price that marked a 50% premium to the three-month average share price before the deal was announced.
In the final tally, 93.22% of shares voted supported the takeover.
Cobham, based in Wimborne Minster, south-west England, is the latest European company to be bought by a private equity firm seeking a home for their bumper cash balances.
The deal was struck at 165 pence per share. The stock was trading at 161 pence on Monday after the result.
Cobham, which employs 10,000 people to make its air-to-air refuelling system and communications equipment for military vehicles, has a storied history but has faced difficulties in recent years. (end of excerpt)
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