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RUAG International to divest Australian aviation unit

Three Royal Australian Air Force F-35As fly off the country's east coast. RUAG Australia and its future owner, Asdam Group, both support the F-35 programme. (Commonwealth of Australia)

Continuing its transformation into a space company, Switzerland's RUAG International has agreed to sell its Australian aircraft maintenance subsidiary to Australia's Asdam Group.

On 1 April RUAG said that it expects to complete the transaction in the “coming months” after receiving regulatory approval. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

RUAG Australia performs several activities, including aerostructures manufacturing and aviation maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO). It supports military aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet, and the Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopter. It employs more than 150 people at facilities across Australia and is part of RUAG's MRO International division.

RUAG CEO André Wall called the sale “the perfect match” for RUAG Australia because it “successfully continues the current business activities and sustainably secures jobs for the future”.

Asdam is a defence and manufacturing company owned by Australian private equity firm CPE Capital, formerly Champ Private Equity. It includes the Levett Engineering and Marand Precision Engineering businesses, and works with defence prime contractors such as BAE Systems, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Pratt & Whitney.

RUAG is shedding RUAG Australia as part of an effort to shift its focus to the growing space market. RUAG announced in November 2021 that it is negotiating the sale of MRO International's Simulation & Training (S&T) business to France's Thales Group. This deal is scheduled to close in the first half of 2022. When the S&T and RUAG Australia transactions are completed, RUAG would have fully divested MRO International.

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