Cobham’s aerial refuelling wing Cobham Mission Systems (CMS) has been sold to US-headquartered diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton for $2.8bn, 14 times the company’s 2020 earnings. US private equity fund Advent International bought Cobham last year and subsequently restructured the historic aerospace company into nine divisions including CMS. The sale prompted concerns from opponents that Advent would split the company up to sell off its components. Eaton’s existing offering includes aerial and ground refuelling components. The company is based in Ireland but is headquartered in the US.
The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2021, subject to regulatory conditions. In November 2019, the government announced it was consulting on steps to address national security concerns associated with the sale of Cobham to Advent. At the time, the government said it was satisfied by the steps taken to mitigate national security risks and cleared the merger. Previously, Cobham offloaded its 13% stake in Airtanker and has also sold its antenna and radio business unit Cobham Aerospace Connectivity to TransDigm for $965m. Cobham Mission Systems’ highly complementary products and strong position on growing defence platforms will enhance fuel systems business and position Aerospace business for future growth.
Cobham Limited is a British aerospace manufacturing company based in Wimborne Minster, England. Cobham is organised into three divisions: Cobham Mission Systems, Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions (CAES) and Cobham Aviation Services. As the world’s leading supplier of critical control solutions, Cobham Mission Systems helps customers increase the safety and mission capabilities of personnel and equipment in extreme environments. Proven and trusted solutions include air-to-air refueling, fuel tank inerting, life support, space propulsion, weapons carriage and missile actuation that enable customers to achieve mission success.