US private equity firm Advent International won its battle to buy Britain’s Cobham for $5 billion on Monday (September 26), taking advantage of the weak pound to pounce on the defense and aerospace group that pioneered air-to-air refueling.
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.
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.
Cobham, which employs 10,000 people to make its air-to-air refueling system and communications equipment for military vehicles, has a storied history but has faced difficulties in recent years.
Full Content: Reuters