Private equity firm promises to keep defence firm’s headquarters in the UK as government approves £4 billion deal

Private equity firm Advent International, the new owners of Cobham, has revealed a series of commitments which have lead to government approval of the defence firm takeover

Advent has said it will maintain a UK headquarters for the company which is a world-leader expert in air-to-air refuelling. It has added that it will continue funding research and development at its Dorset offices and keep the Cobham name.

Future sale must be passed by MoD and Home Office

Contracts with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Home Office will also continue to remain in the UK and the company has made a “commitment not to restructure the UK operating companies’ capacity in a way which would result in some, or all, of the relevant activities being developed and/or supplied from outside the UK without the written approval of the relevant department.”

The approval is subject to a stipulation that any future sales of parts of the business must be passed by the MoD and Home Office.

The takeover was approved by shareholders in August but was subject to a review by the Competition and Markets Authority and Government departments. The deal is expected to be concluded on January 17.

Shonnel Malani, partner at Advent, said: “Advent takes its custodianship of Cobham seriously, and we are confident the transaction and undertakings being given on national security, jobs and future investment, provide important long-term assurances for both Cobham’s employees and customers, particularly in the UK and also globally.”

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