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Parker-Hannifin set to acquire Meggitt

2nd August 2021 - 12:03 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Meggitt makes components for the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine that powers the F-35. (Photo: Meggitt)

Pending takeover of Meggitt by Parker-Hannifin follows move for Ultra Electronics by US-owned Cobham.

Another UK company involved in defence programmes may be subject to a takeover from the US, after Parker-Hannifin announced on 2 August that it has reached agreement to acquire Meggitt.

The deal — valued at about £6.3 billion ($8.76 billion), according to official documents — must still be approved by Meggitt shareholders and UK government regulators.

Defence accounts for about 46% of Meggitt group sales, with 70% of defence revenues derived from its core US market.

Meggitt equipment is on an installed base of around 22,000 fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, as well as ground vehicles. Notable ongoing projects include radome technology for the Eurofighter Typhoon radar upgrade programme.

US-owned Cobham (itself formerly a UK company) on 23 July announced a bid for Ultra Electronics but this deal is being investigated by the UK government on national security grounds.

At the time of publication there was no indication that the Parker-Meggitt deal would be subject to a similar probe, although there is still time for the UK authorities to intervene.

The National Security and Investment Bill enters into law in January 2022. It will give the UK government enhanced powers to investigate and where necessary intervene in defence-related mergers, acquisitions and other transactions.

In a cooperation document between Parker-Hannifin and Meggitt, seen by Shephard, the US company commits itself to ‘maintain Meggitt’s existing R&D, product engineering and direct manufacturing labour headcount in the UK at no less than current levels’.

In terms of R&D, Parker-Hannifin would ‘at least maintain Meggitt’s existing level of expenditure with respect to R&D in the UK and, subject to normal levels of growth and activity occurring in the aerospace industry, increase this by at least 20 per cent over the next five years’.

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