Airbus Group to sell billion-dollar defense electronics business including avionics and sensors to KKR

AMSTERDAM, 18 March 2016. Airbus Group SE officials in Leiden, the Netherlands, have reached agreement to sell the company’s defense electronics business (Defence Electronics) -- provider of mission-critical sensors, integrated systems, and services for defense and security applications based in Ulm, Germany-- to global investment firm KKR.

Airbus Group to sell billion-dollar defense electronics business including avionics and sensors to KKR
Airbus Group to sell billion-dollar defense electronics business including avionics and sensors to KKR

AMSTERDAM, 18 March 2016. Airbus Group SE officials in Leiden, the Netherlands, have reached agreement to sell the company’s defense electronics business (Defence Electronics) -- provider of mission-critical sensors, integrated systems, and services for defense and security applications based in Ulm, Germany-- to global investment firm KKR.

Airbus Group to sell billion-dollar defense electronics business including avionics and sensors to KKRAirbus Group to sell billion-dollar defense electronics business including avionics and sensors to KKR

KKR has valued the defense electronics business at an enterprise value of approximately 1.1 billion Euros or 1.2 billion dollars (U.S.). The perimeter of the new company comprises military sensors, electronic warfare, avionics, and optronics.

This move is a significant step in Airbus Defence and Space Division’s portfolio reorganization, originally announced in September 2014.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and employee consultation.

Airbus Defense Space

“This is an excellent outcome for our Orlando process which aimed at repositioning Defence Electronics for the future with an excellent outcome for all stakeholders,” says Bernhard Gerwert, chief executive officer of Airbus Defence and Space. “Defence Electronics is a strong, profitable business with significant growth potential and we are convinced that KKR and the Defence Electronics management team and employees will continue to strongly develop the business going forward.”

Airbus Group may maintain a minority stake to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for the business, its employees and partners.

“KKR will support the growth and development of the company with its financial resources, international network, long-standing expertise in the global industrial sector and its extensive experience building successful industrial companies in Germany, such as MTU Aero Engines, Demag Cranes and Kion,” affirms Johannes Huth, member and head of KKR Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Airbus Defence Space

Defence Electronics includes around 4,000 employees worldwide, with annual revenues of roughly 1 billion Euros.

Since January 2016, the unit has operated under the management team as one business within Airbus Defense and Space.

Airbus Group is a provider of aeronautics, space, and related services. In 2015, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defense and Space, and Airbus Helicopters – generated revenues of 64.5 billion Euros and employed a workforce of around 136,600.

KKR is a global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world‐class people, and driving growth and value creation at the asset level. KKR invests its own capital alongside its partners' capital and brings opportunities to others through its capital markets business.


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