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Montana Aerospace to buy Asco Industries

Asco Industries is a supplier for the F-35 Lightining II. (US Air Force)

Switzerland-based Montana Aerospace has agreed to purchase fellow aircraft parts maker Asco Industries of Belgium, saying the deal, which requires regulatory approval, would expand its offerings.

“With the acquisition of Asco Industries, Montana Aerospace will further strengthen its competences in product design, testing, and manufacturing of hard metal components and assemblies for wing and fuselage structures,” Montana said on 7 September.

Asco CEO Christian Boas said that joining the larger company will give Asco access to more opportunities. Asco, which is family-owned, has 1,200 employees at four locations in Belgium, Canada, Germany, and the United States, while Montana Aerospace, which is listed on the Zurich stock exchange, has 5,000 employees at 28 locations on four continents.

Asco generated yearly sales of “up to EUR260 million” (USD307.5 million) from 2018 to 2020, Montana said. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Michael Pistauer, Montana Aerospace's chief financial officer, told Janes he does not expect his company to encounter the same problems in obtaining European Commission approval that prompted US-based Spirit AeroSystems to cancel its proposed USD420 million takeover of Asco last year. Unlike Spirit, Montana does not directly compete with Asco, so its acquisition should not raise concerns about reducing competition, he said.

Pistauer estimated that Montana would close its transaction by the first quarter of 2022.

Asco is part of the BeLightning joint venture, which is gearing up to build horizontal tails in Belgium for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. Asco already makes flaperons, or moving flight control surfaces, for the F-35.

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