Defence contractor Esterline may buy French rival for $715 million

Esterline Corporation, a US-based defence contractor, has entered into exclusive talks with Sagard Private Equity Partners and made a binding offer to acquire France's Souriau Group for about $715 million.

Founded in 1917, and headquartered in Versailles, France, the Souriau Group designs, manufactures and markets high performance - high reliability interconnect solutions for severe environments dedicated to the aerospace, defence, space, railway and mass transit, Nuclear, oil & gas and industrial equipment markets.

Souriau employs over 2,300 people and has a worldwide presence with R & D centres and production sites in Europe, the US, Japan, India, Morocco and Dominican Republic.

Souriau's aeronautics business, which represents approximately 35 per cent of its total business, focuses on both commercial and military fixed and rotary wing aircraft, weapons delivery systems and avionics, while its defense and space business manufactures connectors primarily for satellite, missile, and communications systems and represents approximately 30 per cent of total revenues.

The company's power generation and rail business represents approximately 15 per cent of revenues, while its industrial equipment business generates approximately 20 per cent of total revenues.

The company's major customers include ABB, Airbus, Alstom, Astrium, AREVA, BAE Systems, Boeing, Bombardier, Dassault, EADS, Embraer, Faiveley, Goodrich, Honeywell, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Safran, Sukhoi, Thales, Rolls Royce, Schlumberger and Westinghouse among others.