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Airbus, Safran, Tikehau Ace Capital to buy materials firm Aubert & Duval

Three French companies – aerospace manufacturers Airbus and Safran, and investment firm Tikehau Ace Capital – have agreed to jointly acquire aerospace materials business Aubert & Duval, the buyers and the seller announced on 22 February.

French mining and metals group Eramet said it is divesting Aubert & Duval as part of a portfolio reshaping effort, while the buyers said their acquisition will keep an important supplier to Airbus and Safran in French hands.

“The planned acquisition will ensure national sovereignty for our most strategic programmes for disruptive civil and military aircraft engines,” Safran CEO Olivier Andriès said.

Founded in 1907, Aubert & Duval produces high-performance steel, superalloys, titanium, and aluminium, and its wares are used in items such as aerostructures, aircraft engines, landing gear, missiles, and submarine torpedo tubes. It generates annual revenue of about EUR500 million (USD567 million) and employs about 3,600 people, most of whom are based in France.

The acquirers will each own a third of Aubert & Duval through a new joint holding company. “Given its industrial expertise in metallurgy, Safran will lead the operational management of the company,” Andriès said.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022 after receiving regulatory approvals. Although exact financial terms were not disclosed, the accepted offer is based on a EUR95 million (USD107 million) enterprise value.

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