Green light beckons for Advent-Cobham deal but concerns linger

19 November 2019

Key Points

  • UK government moves closer to approving sale of Cobham to US private equity firm Advent International
  • However, the government has ordered a further consultation until 17 December, to assess pledges by Advent to safeguard national security

After a three-week inquiry, the UK government announced on 19 November that it is inclined to approve the GBP4 billion (USD5.98 billion) acquisition of defence and aerospace group Cobham by Advent International, after the US private equity firm gave legally binding undertakings to allay national security concerns.

The acquisition has already been approved by the European Commission, and regulators in the United States and Finland. However, having assessed a review of the proposed deal from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – and armed with additional advice by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) – Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said that a public consultation is required until 17 December.

“I will provide a further update once that process has concluded,” Leadsom noted in a statement. “No decision will be taken on whether to accept the [national security] undertakings until the consultation has closed and the representations have been carefully considered.”

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