UK govt orders probe into £2.6bn Ultra Electronics takeover
UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on Thursday ordered an inquiry into the proposed takeover of Ultra Electronics by Cobham Group.
Kwarteng said he had instructed the Competitions & Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate the proposed £2.57bn deal to assess any national security concerns.
Cobham, owned by US private equity company Advent, confirmed a deal had been agreed on Monday, and offered assurances to the UK government on security issues.
“The UK is open for business; however, foreign investment must not threaten our national security,” Kwarteng said in a statement.
He has also tabled an order in Parliament preventing Ultra Electronics from disclosing sensitive information to Cobham about the goods or services it provides to the government or Britain’s armed forces.
Kwarteng has given the CMA until midnight on January 18 2022 to submit its report on the proposed takeover.
Cobham said it would agree to binding commitments to the government, including safeguarding and supporting the UK’s national security, continuity of supply and critical capabilities , and national security clearance arrangements.
Dorset-based Cobham, which employs 10,000 people, is best known for technology enabling the mid-air refuelling of planes.