Leonardo announced on 24 April it has agreed to acquire a 25.1% stake in sensor house HENSOLDT from Square Lux Holding, for a consideration of approx. €606 million in cash. Square Lux is a portfolio company of investment funds administered by Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts & Co LP (KKR). Leonardo will thus hold an equal stake with Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), which is 80% owned by the German government and which agreed the purchase of a 25.1% stake in HENSOLDT in March. Square Lux will retain an 18% stake after the sale to Leonardo, which is subject to normal regulatory approval.
Thomas Müller, HENSOLDT’s CEO, commented "We very much welcome Leonardo’s investment in HENSOLDT. With this transaction, we will have a second long-term anchor shareholder in our company and a strong potential strategic partner with whom we are already successfully working together on a number of programmes. As a leading provider of sensor solutions for defence and security applications, it has always been our goal to play a decisive role in the consolidation of the European defence market. We see multiple opportunities of working together with Leonardo to further support our successful strategy, and to be able to strengthen HENSOLDT's long-term growth.”
“We believe that this step will create value for all our shareholders, as it will bring together complementary strengths to serve more customers and partners with the solutions they need, whilst preserving national technologies and capabilities. This investment also reflects our long-held view on the importance of building cooperation across the European aerospace and defence industry, and demonstrates the determination of Leonardo to play an active role in this development," added Leonardo CEO, Alessandro Profumo.
As an independent, listed company, HENSOLDT has successfully expanded its leading market position in recent months. As an important technology partner and strategic supplier of key national technology, the company plays a significant role in decisive areas of the German defence and security sector. The shareholder structure therefore safeguards both German security interests and the independence of the company.
The two companies already collaborate closely on a number of major programmes, including the Eurofighter TYPHOON combat aircraft. Their closer relationship will build on the complementary nature of their geography and product portfolios.