Top-secret military vendor fights U.S. private equity raid – .

Top-secret military vendor fights U.S. private equity raid – .

An engineering firm behind some of the most sensitive equipment in Britain’s defense arsenal is preparing to fend off a raid by a US private equity firm.

Ultra Electronics, which specializes in equipment used in missiles and naval systems such as sonar, prepares for a takeover bid from U.S. company Advent International after secret talks over a smaller-scale deal fail .

Advent bought another British defense firm Cobham two years ago in a £ 4 billion deal that critics say could harm the country’s security interests. His designs on Cobham are part of a wave of private equity deals as foreign bidders seek opportunities on the London Stock Exchange.

Cobham announced on Friday afternoon its intention to strike a deal with Ultra, saying it “is considering a possible combination to create a world champion in defense electronics.”

Insiders said the two sides had previously discussed a deal in which Ultra would buy Coham’s electronics divisions. Ultra said there was an explicit agreement that talks would not cover company-wide deals, such as a takeover.

Ultra, an FTSE 250 company, ended talks last week after deciding not to proceed with a merger.

The revelation of Cobham’s interest pushed Ultra shares up almost 7% to £ 23.01, valuing the company at £ 1.64 billion.


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