The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) , Andrea Leadsom, announced that she has accepted statutory undertakings from the parties involved in the proposed acquisition of Cobham PLC by AI Convoy Bidco Limited and that the acquisition will not therefore be referred to the Competition and Markets Authority for a further assessment. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is a department of the government of the United Kingdom, which was created by Theresa May on 14 July 2016 following her appointment as Prime Minister, through a merger between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
The decision follows a public consultation on the content of the draft undertakings. Having carefully considered the representations received, the Secretary of State believes the undertakings are appropriate to remedy, mitigate or prevent any of the effects adverse to the public interest within the meaning of section 58(1) of the Act which may be expected to result from the creation of the relevant merger situation. The Secretary of State is publishing a copy of the signed undertakings.
Cobham plc is a British manufacturing company based in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Cobham was originally founded by Sir Alan Cobham as Flight Refuelling Limited (FRL) in 1934. During the late 1940s, the company’s aerial refuelling equipment broke new ground, including a round-the-world flight by specially-equipped Boeing B-50 Superfortresses in 1948 and the demonstration of the now-widely used ‘probe and drogue’ method of air-to-air refuelling for the first time in 1949. A wide range of aircraft have since been equipped with Cobham’s refuelling equipment. In July 2019, Cobham’s board agreed to recommend a takeover offer of £4 billion from American private equity firm Advent International.