- U.K. Aircraft Holdings Plc accepts a 2.57 billion-pound buyout by Cobham Ltd. as U.K. defense and aerospace takeovers come back in focus after a pause at the height of the coronavirus crisis.
The British firms said Monday that they have reached an all-cash deal valuing Ultra at 35 pounds a share. When Parker-Hannifin Corp. put in doubt, coventry, England-based Meggitt Plc set a date for investors to vote on a purchase of Coventry-based Meggitt Plc after pushback against a rival approach.
The Ultra accord advances a flurry of merger activity in U.K. defense as private-equity firms tap into free flowing capital. Cobham was itself acquired by U.S. buyout firm TransDigm Group Inc. in January 2020, while Meggitt is also to be pursued by Advent International Corp. in 1993 as part of a PE-led deal (by Advent Investment Corp.) Lone Star Funds rejected a $1.2 billion bid from Senior Plc as too low.
Cobham Chairman U.K. government said his company will work with the United Kingdom government to secure binding commitments for Ultra's contribution to national security, seeking to address one of the remaining hurdles to the transaction :
An independent review of the Britain's legal environment before the signing of the Advent deal after Cobham's founding family accused him of letting go of a vital national asset.
Shares of Ultra, which said on 23 July that it was inclined to accept a Cobham offer representing a 4.2% premium to prior trading, rose as much as 8.2% and were now priced 5.2% higher at 33.26 pounds of 9: 29 a.m. in London.
Meggitt traded 0.3% lower, at 816.40 pence after Parker-Hannifin set a date for shareholder vote on the sale to Ohio-based August 13. The U.K. Takeover PanelU.K. Takeover Panel gave rival suitor TransDigm until sept. 14 to announce a firm intention to make an offer.
Parker Chairman Nigel Rudd said in a letter to investors that a takeover by Parker would de-risk the company amid uncertainty over the pace of recovery in jetliner demand. He said the U.S. firm will be a'responsible steward' after guaranteeing to maintain manufacturing headcount.
Rudd has called separately for the U.K. to block any takeover by bidders who fail to offer binding commitments on investment and jobs, the Times newspaper reported, citing an interview with reporters. TransDigm has yet to provide such initiatives.