Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace and Patria announced on 13 December they have signed an agreement with the Norwegian Ministry of Defence (MoD) to acquire Aerospace Industrial Maintenance Norway AS (AIM). Kongsberg will take a 50.1% shareholding in the business, Patria 49.9%. The agreement is subject to normal regulatory oversight and is expected to close in the first half of 2019.

AIM provides maintenance, overhaul and upgrade services for the Norwegian Air Force’s fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and is the owner of Belgium Engine Center sprl in Herstal, Belgium. Headquartered at Kjeller, AIM has some 440 employees and has played a significant role in the Norwegian aviation industry since 1916. Important current priorities are engine maintenance for the F-35 LIGHTNING II and for Norway’s new search and rescue helicopters.

The acquisition of AIM is a significant milestone to strengthen Kongsberg’s role as a strategic partner for the Norwegian armed force’s operative requirements, both as a supplier of equipment and for maintenance. With this acquisition, our ownership in the Nordic defence industry is further strengthened and we are taking new, important steps in the Nordic and international defence market,” stated Kongsberg Gruppen CEO, Geir Håøy.

For the last 30 years, Kongsberg has conducted maintenance and repairs of gearboxes and rotor heads for SEA KING helicopters. In 2018 this was expanded with a gear box and test facility for maintenance of more than a hundred military helicopters in the Nordics and other nations. In conjunction with the extensive operations we have for air defence systems, aircraft parts and missiles for the F-35, this acquisition makes us a more complete supplier, with increased strategic importance to the Norwegian Air Force,” added Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace President, Eirik Lie.

Kongsberg and the Norwegian armed forces have entered into a strategic agreement which will provide [the] basis for future maintenance work through AIM. We see considerable opportunities within advanced maintenance, and the acquisition will secure national readiness and entail more cost-efficient maintenance of the armed force’s aircraft and helicopters. The acquisition strengthens our position in the Nordic maintenance market, where we are now taking a next step in the Nordic defence industry alliance we established with the purchase of 49.9% of Patria in 2016. Our joint team is looking forward to welcome highly skilled AIM employees, and we are looking forward to our combined future performance,” Lie continued.

AIM Group is expected to achieve revenues of around NOK 1 billion (€100 million) and an EBITDA margin of 8-9% for 2018. The parties have agreed an enterprise value of NOK 151 million, on a cash and debt free basis, and with normalised working capital. This value reflects, among other issues, a commitment for AIM to invest around NOK 540 million in the new F-35 national facility at Rygge over the next 2-3 years.

Kongsberg and Patria have agreed to acquire AIM from the Norwegian Ministry of Defence. (Photo: Kongsberg)

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