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Babcock to sell Frazer-Nash Consultancy to KBR

KBR is based in Houston, Texas. (KBR)

KBR is based in Houston, Texas. (KBR)

UK-based Babcock International Group has agreed to sell its Frazer-Nash Consultancy to fellow engineering company KBR of the United States for GBP293 million (USD405.1 million) to reduce its debt, Babcock announced on 13 August.

KBR said that buying the Babcock subsidiary will expand its international advisory capabilities. Frazer-Nash serves government and industry customers in defence and other sectors, and operates mainly in the UK and Australia. Its defence engineering expertise spans such areas as air, land, and naval systems; C4ISTAR; space defence; and weapons.

“Frazer-Nash is highly complementary with KBR's global priorities with minimal overlap because of its geographic footprint,” KBR said.

According to Babcock, Frazer-Nash, which is based in Dorking, Surrey, in South East England, has operated largely independently since Babcock acquired it in 2007. It employs 900 people and has nine locations in the UK and four in Australia. For the year that ended on 31 March 2021, it generated revenue of GBP100.5 million and profit before interest and tax of GBP13.5 million.

KBR plans to pay for the acquisition with about USD175 million in cash on hand and USD225 million in debt. It expects the deal to close in the third or fourth quarter of 2021 after receiving regulatory approval. Frazer-Nash will become part of KBR's Government Solutions segment.

The announcement came four months after Babcock revealed it would divest several non-core businesses over the next year to generate net proceeds of at least GBP400 million and strengthen its balance sheet. The company had already agreed to sell its oil and gas aviation business to offshore helicopter operator CHC Group.

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