Advent completes controversial GBP4 billion takeover of Cobham

US-based Private equity investor Advent International (Advent) has completed its controversial GBP4 billion takeover of UK defence and aerospace company Cobham plc. 

Founded by Sir Alan Cobham in 1934, Cobham has approximately 10,000 employees around the world, and operations in North America, Europe, Australia and South Africa. 

The Cobham investment is made by Advent’s USD17.5 billion private equity fund raised in 2019.  Advent is a global firm, with a track record of more than 350 investments across 41 countries.  Since the firm opened its London office in 1989, it has invested almost GBP4.6 billion in 40 British businesses. Cobham is the firm’s third major public-to-private transaction in recent years, following the successful acquisitions of Brammer plc and Laird plc in 2017 and 2018, respectively.    
Shonnel Malani, partner at Advent, says: “Advent is proud to build on our strong track record of UK investment as we take this historic company forward, on the next chapter of its development.  We have strong conviction in Cobham’s businesses and look forward to delivering on each one’s full potential, for the benefit of customers, suppliers and employees around the world.” 
The takeover has obtained approval from regulators in the UK, US, France, Australia and Finland, following a 93 per cent vote in favour of the deal by its shareholders. The transaction also received unanimous support from the company’s Board of Directors from the outset, but has been criticised by some parties including the family of the firm’s founder. Cobham’s shares have been delisted from the London Stock Exchange, where it was a constituent of the FTSE 250 index.