February 17, 2022 | Defence | Europe | Ended

Ultra Electronics and Meggitt / Revisiting UK National Security Trends: In-Depth Report

On 18-Aug-21, the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Kwasi Kwarteng, issued a Public Interest Intervention Notice (PIIN) on the acquisition of UK-based Ultra Electronics by US private equity firm Advent’s Cobham subsidiary. Initiated on national security grounds, the PIIN gave the CMA until 18-Jan-22 to investigate and report back to the Secretary of State. The CMA has delivered its Phase I report to the Secretary of State, and we await Kwarteng’s decision on whether to (i) approve the merger outright, (ii) approve it with undertakings in lieu (UILs) of a CMA Phase II reference, or (iii) refer it for a more in-depth Phase II review. Ultra is one of two multi-billion-pound UK defence deals that has attracted the attention of the UK government, the other being Parker-Hannifin’s proposed acquisition of Meggitt, which received a PIIN on 18-Oct-21, also on national security grounds. The Phase I report for Meggitt / Parker-Hannifin is due to be handed to the SoS by 18-Mar-22. In this report, we speak with CMA and UK national security experts and analyse precedents to hypothesise what UILs could be offered by Parker and Cobham to secure UK government approvals for their respective deals. We believe that both takeovers ...

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