Stories

Advent to buy Cobham for £4 billion, setting up potential regulatory scrutiny

Advent International has agreed to buy Cobham (LSE: COB), a British defense and aerospace group known for developing air-to-air refueling technology. The deal is valued at £4 billion, or 165 pence per share ⁠— 35% premium to yesterday's closing price.

Why it matters: The deal could come under severe political and regulatory scrutiny in the U.K., just as Boris Johnson takes over as prime minister. Expect particular focus on possible layoffs and broader defense manufacturing sector impact, similar to debate last year when Melrose Industries bought GKN.

On the other hand: This is yet another example of how the pending Brexit hasn't scared off many U.S. investors.

The bottom line: "Cobham, which employs 10,000 people and also makes electronic warfare systems and communications for military vehicles, was shaken by a string of profit warnings in 2016 and 2017, forcing it to raise cash from shareholders. CEO David Lockwood embarked on a turnaround strategy two and half years ago, focused on improving the company’s financial and operating performance." — Paul Sandle, Reuters.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about Brexit