After a lot of speculation, the Britain Government has finally given a green signal for the sale of British defense company Cobham to a U.S. Investor. This decision has been made after the U.S. based Advent International agreed to Britain’s terms for national security. The sale is likely to be worth over 5 billion USD.
British Business Minister Andrea Leadsom had stayed the deal as Cobham deals with communications equipment for military vehicles and involves in air-to-air refueling. As per her, the deal was stopped due to national security concerns. It should be noted that Cobham has an employee strength of 10,000 British citizens.
Leadsom said in a statement, “I am satisfied that the undertakings mitigate the national security risks identified to an acceptable level and have therefore accepted them and cleared the merger to proceed.”
Leadsom also added that the British Government headed by the new PM Boris Johnson approved the deal as the U.S. investor agreed to have the maximum number of British executives on its board after the takeover. In addition to this, Cobham will need to provide prior notice to the British Government in advance if it is looking to sell even a small part of the defense company.
However, the go-ahead to this deal didn’t go well with everyone. Nadine Cobham, whose late husband was a son of the company’s founder said, “In Cobham, we stand to lose yet another great British defense manufacturer to foreign ownership, in one of its first major economic decisions, the government is not taking back control so much as handing it away.”
She also alleged that the Government has taken this decision hastily as, during Christmas, it can avoid scrutiny over this deal.
The finalization of this could hint that the Britain Government is open to new investments as it is nearing divorce from the European Union after a long-stretched gap.
Recently, the newly elected PM Johnson, while visiting Estonia, said that the deal has undergone numerous checks so that no security loophole is left open. He also added that Britain post Brexit should be open to new investments and create an open and dynamic economy.
Cobham was founded in 1930 and it came into limelight after World War Two and in the Falklands conflict is 1982. However, its technology has not gone obsolete and currently being used in advanced aircraft like Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and the Eurofighter Typhoon.