British defence and aerospace supplier Cobham to buy Aeroflex Holding for $900 mn

British defence and aerospace supplier Cobham Plc has struck a deal to buy New York-based Aeroflex Holding Corp for about $900 million.

Cobham, based in Dorset, South West England, has agreed to pay $10.50 per share in cash, a 26.1 per cent premium to Aeroflex's close on 19 May at the New York Stock Exchange.

The total transaction value is approximately$1.46 billion, including Aeroflex's net debt of $540 million.

''This all-cash, premium transaction provides significant and immediate value to our stockholders,'' said Len Borow, Aeroflex's CEO of Aeroflex.

''We believe Aeroflex and Cobham are a natural fit and that Aeroflex will benefit from the larger scale, market presence, and resources of the combined organization,'' he added.

The transaction, which is expected to close during the third quarter of 2014, is subject to regulatory approvals, including the US Committee on Foreign Investment and the approval of Aeroflex and Cobham stockholders.

Founded in 1937, Aeroflex is a global provider of radio frequency and microwave integrated circuits, components, and systems used in the design, development, and maintenance of wireless communication systems to the aerospace, defense cellular and broadband communications industry.

Aeroflex, whose competitors include Agilent, National Instruments, Anritsu, and Rohde & Schwarz, has a market cap of $708 million and posted a loss of $104 million in 2013 on sales of $647 million.

Founded as Flight Refuelling Ltd in 1934, Cobham provides various technologies and services for commercial, defense, and security markets worldwide.

The company operates in four segments: Cobham Aerospace and Security, Cobham Defense Systems, Cobham Mission Systems, and Cobham Aviation Services.

It has market leading positions in air-to-air refueling; aviation services; audio, video and data communications, including satellite communications; defense electronics; life support and mission equipment.

It has a market cap of $3.4 billion and annual sales of $1.7 billion.