United Kingdom-based aerospace and defense company Cobham plc on Thursday said it has entered into an agreement to be acquired by the U.S.-based global private equity firm Advent International for $5 billion in cash.
Advent’s offer price for Cobham is 165 pence, representing a 34 percent premium to the company’s closing price on Wednesday of 123 pence per share.
The deal must be approved by regulators in the U.S. and European Union, as well as the U.K., Australia, France and Finland, and the companies expect to close the transaction later this year. Cobham’s board has approved the deal, which must also be approved by the company’s shareholders, who will meet in mid-September for a vote.
Cobham provides products and services in the defense, aerospace and space markets and had $2.3 billion in sales in its fiscal year 2018. The company says 38 percent of its sales were from the U.S. defense and security market, 36 percent commercial, and 26 percent from U.K. and rest of world defense and security markets.
“We have worked intensively over the last two and a half years to focus on our customers and our financial and operating performance, and these fundamentals, along with the investment in the business that Advent can provide, will enable us to leverage the quality of our products and services,” David Lockwood, Cobham’s CEO, said in a statement. “Most of all, this offer reflects the potential for future growth and improving performance, and is an endorsement of our turnaround strategy and our hardworking people.”
Jefferies equity analyst Sandy Morris, who is based in the U.K., said in a client note on Thursday that he values Cobham at 162 pence per share but “Nonetheless, we feel robbed, so to speak.” He said Cobham has turned the corner and is on the cusp of its “considerable financial firepower being unleashed.”
Cobham’s financial advisers on the deal are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, and Rothschild & Co. Advent’s financial advisers are Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Credit Suisse.