10 Apr 19. Airbus shareholders approve all AGM resolutions, Guillaume Faury appointed CEO.
- Guillaume Faury joins Board of Directors, appointed Airbus CEO
- Board selects René Obermann to succeed Denis Ranque as Chairman in 2020
- Claudia Nemat and Carlos Tavares reappointed to Board
- Catherine Guillouard reappointed to Board, to Chair Audit Committee
Airbus SE (stock exchange symbol: AIR) shareholders passed all resolutions at its 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM), including the appointment of Guillaume Faury as an Executive Member of the Board of Directors for three years.
At a Board Meeting immediately following the AGM, Guillaume Faury was formally appointed Airbus Chief Executive Officer (CEO), replacing outgoing CEO Tom Enders whose Board Mandate expired at the close of the AGM. Airbus announced last October that its Board of Directors had selected Faury, previously President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft, as its next CEO.
“I’m pleased to welcome Guillaume Faury to the Board and am confident that as CEO he will successfully guide Airbus into the next decade,” said Denis Ranque, Chairman of the Airbus Board of Directors. “Guillaume has exactly the right skill set and experience needed to take Airbus forward. Separately, I would like to thank Tom Enders for all his achievements during his time as CEO, including particularly the value created for our shareholders and the development of our Company to the benefit of all employees and the supply chain.”
Guillaume Faury said: “It’s a real privilege to take over as Airbus CEO and lead this outstanding company into the 2020s. I would like to thank the Board and shareholders for their trust. I look forward to working with our great teams and shaping the Airbus of tomorrow, to better serve our customers, increase our competitiveness, and grow in a sustainable way.”
Shareholders also approved the re-election of Non-Executive Board Members Catherine Guillouard, Claudia Nemat and Carlos Tavares for a period of three years. Hermann-Josef Lamberti informed the Board of Directors that he doesn’t wish to seek a renewal of his Board mandate at the 2020 AGM after 12 years as a Board Member and 11 years as Chairman of the Audit Committee. At the Board Meeting, it was decided that Catherine Guillouard will replace Hermann-Josef Lamberti as Chair of the Audit Committee while Jean-Pierre Clamadieu will join the Ethics and Compliance Committee with immediate effect.
Upon the recommendation of the Remuneration, Nomination and Governance Committee (RNGC), the Board has selected René Obermann to succeed Denis Ranque as Chairman of the Airbus Board of Directors when his current mandate expires at the close of the 2020 AGM. This succession was diligently prepared with the support of an external independent head hunter and the Board reached a decision after a thorough examination of all potential external and internal candidates. The Board, supported by the RNGC, has delivered – and will continue to deliver – a smooth succession at Board and Management levels. The successor to Denis Ranque would be formally appointed as new Chairman at the post-AGM Board of Directors meeting in 2020. Airbus has previously said that Denis Ranque had requested to leave the Board to pursue other interests upon the end of his current mandate in 2020, when he will have served for seven years as Chairman.
“After a thorough review, the Board has selected a very capable successor to take over when I step down as Chairman next year,” said Denis Ranque. “Through his current role as a Board Member, René Obermann already knows Airbus well, while his entrepreneurial background and executive experience leading senior management teams brings the right competences and mindset. René’s expertise will also prove invaluable for Airbus’ strong technology focus and his appointment also maintains international diversity at Board level.”
René Obermann has been an independent non-executive Member of the Airbus Board of Directors since April 2018. He has served as a Managing Director of private equity house Warburg Pincus since 2015 and is also a Member of the Boards of Telenor ASA and Allianz Deutschland AG. Between 2006 and 2013, René Obermann was Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Telekom AG. The proposed 2018 gross dividend of € 1.65 per share was approved at the AGM and will be paid on Wednesday 17 April. It represents a 10% increase over the 2017 payment.
10 Apr 19. Airbus flies into new era with change of CEO. New Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury takes the reins of the European aerospace giant at a crucial time. Frenchman Guillaume Faury takes over as CEO of European aerospace giant Airbus on Wednesday, looking to benefit from the current troubles of rival Boeing and limit potential disruption from Brexit and Donald Trump’s trade threats. The 51-year-old will replace Tom Enders, who is stepping down after five years leading the France-based group whose 129,000 employees manufacture airliners, helicopters and satellites.
Enders oversaw further expansion of the group, but his rein was clouded by a recent decision to scrap the loss-making A380 super-jumbo range of Airbus planes as well as multiple probes into suspect payments.
The German’s retirement package—worth 37m euros ($41m) including pension and stocks—has sparked controversy in France and a pledge from the government that it will legislate to limit huge corporate payoffs.
Faury will inherit a financially sound, highly profitable business with an order book of 7,350 passenger planes, which would be enough to keep factories running for a decade at current production rates.
Analysts see Airbus as having an opportunity to profit from the booming airline market, particularly in Asia, and from the global grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX plane after two recent deadly crashes involving the popular new airliner.
“They simply need to use this window of Boeing weakness to hoover up orders in Asia, if they can,” said aerospace analyst Neil Wilson at Markets.com, an online financial trading platform.
According to industry body IATA, Asia will account for most of growth in the industry over the next 20 years, with more than half of the new passenger traffic coming from the region.
But Faury will also have several tricky issues in his inbox, including handling the fall-out from Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, which threatens to disrupt the company’s long and complicated supply chains.
“Brexit could well mean a complete rethink of long-term manufacturing strategy for Airbus and brave decisions may need to be made unless a satisfactory outcome can be agreed by UK and Brussels,” independent aviation analyst Howard Wheeldon told AFP.
The €37m retirement package for outgoing Airbus CEO Tom Enders, right, sparked controversy in France.
Enders branded the British government’s handling of Brexit a “disgrace” in January and warned that a “no deal” exit would led to “very harmful decisions” affecting the production of airline wings in southwest England.
The US is another source of worry for the group after US President Trump lashed out again at the EU this week, vowing to impose fresh tariffs over subsidies to Airbus.
For more than a decade, Washington and Brussels have accused each other of unfairly subsidising Boeing and Airbus respectively and have fought repeated battles at the World Trade Organization, which polices global trade rules.
Faury will also be wary of multiple investigations in France, Britain and the United States into possible bribes paid to win contracts between 2008 and 2013 that could cause more embarrassment—and lead to costly fines or prosecutions. The inquiries stem from Airbus’s own disclosure in early 2016 of undisclosed payments to middlemen in securing several contracts, in particular in Asia. If convicted in the US, it would effectively be shut out of defence and civil aviation contracts for years—which would be a boon for Boeing.
Faury, a married father of three, will take over after a board meeting in Amsterdam on Wednesday. He has spent most of his career in the aerospace industry, specialising in helicopters. He started his career in the French defence ministry before joining Airbus’ helicopter division in 1998. In 2009, he left for a four-year stint in research and development at French car group Peugeot before rejoining Airbus.
In February 2018, he became head of the civil aviation division, the company’s biggest and most high-profile, which is considered the launching pad for the groups’ top job. (Source: Google/https://phys.org)
10 Apr 19. FLIR Completes Strategic Investment in DroneBase. FLIR Becomes Exclusive Provider of Thermal Technology for DroneBase’s Inspection Services and Training Partner for its Enterprise Pilot Network. FLIR Systems, Inc.(NASDAQ: FLIR) and DroneBase, Inc. announced today that FLIR has made a strategic investment in DroneBase, a global drone operations company that provides businesses access to one of the largest Unmanned Aerial Surveillance (UAS) pilot networks. The investment establishes FLIR as the exclusive provider of thermal product solutions and as the official small UAS thermal imaging training provider for the DroneBase enterprise pilot network through the FLIR Infrared Training Center (ITC).
FLIR Systems makes a strategic investment in DroneBase, a global drone operations company that provides businesses access to one of the largest Unmanned Aerial Surveillance pilot networks. FLIR becomes the exclusive provider of thermal imaging cameras for the DroneBase pilot network. (Photo: Business Wire)
“Our investment in DroneBase helps expand the adoption of FLIR thermal imaging technology by putting it in the hands of more pilots who fly drones every day,” said Jim Cannon, President and CEO of FLIR. “DroneBase’s enterprise pilot network will receive training by professional thermographers, enabling DroneBase to offer specialized thermal inspection services for customers on a wider scale, and creating an opportunity for FLIR to incorporate additional service offerings through DroneBase in the future.”
DroneBase and its pilots have completed over 100,000 commercial missions in more than 70 countries providing services across multiple industries, such as residential and commercial real estate, insurance, telecommunications, construction, and media. FLIR and DroneBase will collaborate to develop specialized training for DroneBase pilots through the FLIR ITC, creating an exclusive pilot network through a DroneBase certification process.
“Through FLIR’s strategic investment in DroneBase, we are now able to offer scalable thermal solutions to enterprises of any size,” said Dan Burton, CEO and Founder of DroneBase. “This access to valuable data will allow stakeholders to make better decisions about their most critical assets. Like myself, many DroneBase pilots relied on FLIR products when they served in the military. This integration will offer military veterans a chance to work with FLIR again and leverage their training in their civilian lives.”
DroneBase is the largest global drone operations company, which provides businesses with stunning aerial information to make better, real-time decisions about their most critical assets from the world’s largest Pilot Network. Based in Los Angeles, the company is the trusted, go-to platform for aerial images and data for worldwide enterprise commercial clients across multiple industries such as residential and commercial real estate, insurance, telecommunications, construction, and media. DroneBase has completed over 100,000 commercial missions flown in over 70 countries and in all 50 states. The company was incubated by Y Combinator and has raised funding from FLIR Systems, Union Square Ventures, Upfront Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Pritzker Group, Accel Partners, SV Angel and DJI.
09 Apr 19. i-BLADES Receives Strategic Investment From In-Q-Tel to Accelerate Growth. Investment to turn ordinary smartphones into extraordinary mobile solutions for the U.S. national security community. i-BLADES, Inc., innovator of technology to make smartphones smarter, today announced a strategic investment and development agreement with In-Q-Tel, Inc. (IQT), the strategic investor that identifies innovative technology solutions to support the U.S. intelligence and defense communities. The IQT partnership will enable i-BLADES to speed up the development of its smartphone technology for new public, private, and command solutions.
“The ability to take off-the-shelf smartphones and add additional functionality is critical for U.S. government customers”
With i-BLADES’s cutting-edge technology, users can take off-the-shelf or Bring your own Phone (BYOP) smartphones and transform them into adaptive and secure devices that are easily deployed in a variety of environments, industries, and special sectors. The result is a powerful mobile device that provides a breadth of new capabilities to smartphones, while eliminating the need to regenerate or customize form factor.
“We provide the innovative ability for users to slap on a multifunctional “Blade” with distinct capabilities—restricted or unrestricted—tailored to user specifications,” says Jorge M. Fernandes, CEO, i-BLADES. “Our partnership with IQT underscores the strength of our technology and the new capabilities we bring to the table to aid national security.”
“The ability to take off-the-shelf smartphones and add additional functionality is critical for U.S. government customers,” says Eileen Tanghal, Partner, Investments at IQT. “We see i-BLADES as a key strategic partner in providing solutions that enhance government efforts to speed up time-to-market, lower costs, and simplify user learning.”
In-Q-Tel (IQT) is the not-for-profit strategic investor that accelerates the development and delivery of cutting-edge technologies to U.S. intelligence and defense agencies that keep our nation safe. IQT was established in 1999 with a distinct mission: to identify and partner with startup companies developing innovative technologies that protect and preserve our nation’s security. Visit www.iqt.org for more information.
A Silicon Valley start-up, i-BLADES’s technology turns ordinary smartphones into extraordinary mobile solutions for public, private and command solutions. i-BLADES created the world’s first “Smartcase,” a next-generation mobile phone case with award winning technology inside. It’s a snap-on/snap-off universal modular expansion platform combining Smartcases with Blades providing more battery, more memory, more radios, more sensors, better audio, and many more. CEO and founder Jorge Fernandes is a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur whose many innovations include the global standard behind contactless payments such as Apple Pay. www.i-blades.com. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
09 Apr 19. End of the Thales offer on Gemalto, last chance to tender shares. Following the success of Thales’s offer for Gemalto, remaining Gemalto shareholders have until Monday 15 April 2019 to tender their shares into the Thales offer. Gemalto shareholders who haven’t tendered their shares during the Acceptance Period can still do so during the post-closing acceptance period, from Monday 1st April, 9:00am CET, until Monday 15 April, 5:40pm CET. They benefit from the same terms and conditions: a price of €51 (cum dividend) per share.
More than 85% of Gemalto shareholders have already tendered their shares. By tendering their shares, shareholders will enable the creation of a world leader in digital identity and security. To tender, shareholders simply need to contact their financial intermediaries before April 15th.
After this date, low liquidity may make the disposal of Gemalto shares difficult. Shareholders should be aware that Thales intends to delist Gemalto shares as soon as possible and that Gemalto will not pay any dividends in 2019.
09 Apr 19. Bharat Forge Ltd to increase stake in Eternus Performance Materials Private Limited. Bharat Forge Ltd has entered into a Share Subscription Agreement with Eternus Performance Materials Private Limited (Eternus), Kolhapur, India and existing shareholders of Eternus on April 8, 2019. Pursuant to the said Agreement, the Company has acquired 51% of equity shares of Eternus and consequently Eternus has become subsidiary of the Company. Eternus is in the business of high end research and development oriented manufacturing of Advanced Composite Products and precision machined metallic components. Since Bharat Forge Limited is also involved in Defence and Aerospace related business, it will enable the Parties in achieving mutual business synergies in the defence and aerospace segment. Shares of BHARAT FORGE LTD. was last trading in BSE at Rs.504.5 as compared to the previous close of Rs. 503.7. The total number of shares traded during the day was 25269 in over 661 trades. The stock hit an intraday high of Rs. 508.6 and intraday low of 499.4. The net turnover during the day was Rs. 12744910. (Source: Google/https://www.equitybulls.com)
08 Apr 19. Piaggio Risks Failure as Italy Cancels €250m Order. Italian Defense Minister Elisabetta Trenta announced last week that she has decided to cancel the planned €250m purchase of eight P.1HH drones produced by Piaggio Aerospace, Italy’s only manufacturer of large drones. The company, which has over a thousand employees, has been in crisis for some time; it is now under administration, and risks failure after losing the contract, Il Post.it reported Thursday. Trenta said the ministry continues to “support the creation of suitable conditions” to keep the company running, and mentioned the possibility of buying some of the company’s P180 Avanti twin-turboprop business aircraft to replace the ministry’s current fleet.
However, there are doubts about the aircraft’s performance, and in a recent parliamentary hearing the Italian Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Alberto Rosso, called the aircraft “eight pieces of iron.”
The Italian Air Force signed an agreement to become the P.1HH’s “launch customer” at the IDEX show in Abu Dhabi in February 2015, and was initially due to order three systems, each comprising two aircraft and a ground station. The UAE Air Force was due to order another eight systems; Mubadala Development, a unit of the UAE sovereign fund, owned 50% of Piaggio Aerospace equity.
However, the only PP.1HH prototype was lost when it crashed into the sea off Sicily in May 2016 during flight trials, which brought the program to a standstill.
Trenta’s decision to cancel the order seems to be due as much to the unsatisfactory performance of the drone as to doubts about the company’s viability after Mubadala sold its stake and pulled out.
After P.1HH, Piaggio Aerospace had begun to develop a new model, the P.2HH, which was considered to offer better prospects, it was still in the initial design phase when development was suspended when the company went into administration.
The Italian government, along with the United Arab Emirates sovereign fund Mubadala Development, which owned half of the company, were to have invested nearly €800m in the project. Despite Trenta’s promise to continue investing, P.2HH project was quietly dropped, and nothing more has been heard about the planned investment. (Source: UAS VISION/Defense Unmanned)
29 Mar 19. Inmarsat backs bid. Global satellite communications group Inmarsat (ISAT) has recommended a takeover offer from a consortium that values the beleaguered group at around $3.3bn (£2.5bn). Management initially confirmed media speculation that it had received a non-binding proposal from private equity firm Apax Partners, Warburg Pincus and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on 31 January 2019. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board subsequently joined the consortium.
The deal values each Inmarsat share at $7.21 (546p), representing a respectable 27 per cent premium to Inmarsat’s closing price on the day prior to notification. The shares climbed by nearly a fifth on the day the deal was mooted. The offer comprises $7.09 and a $0.12-a-share dividend to be paid on 30 May, to shareholders on the register by 23 April.
The board had received irrevocable undertakings from shareholders representing 11.4 per cent of the group’s outstanding share capital by 22 March. The general meeting is expected to take place before 31 May.
Last July, Inmarsat’s board rejected an offer from EchoStar “on the basis that it very significantly undervalued Inmarsat and its standalone prospects”. The offer was withdrawn. In June, Eutelsat said it was “evaluating a possible offer for Inmarsat”, although said it did not intend to proceed with an offer the next day.
Last year, Inmarsat’s largest division – maritime – endured a 2.6 per cent sales dip to $553m. Meanwhile, the division’s cash profits here also declined by 4 per cent to $429m, reflecting higher costs, including provisions against potential future bad debts. The maritime and enterprise divisions have faced rising competition in recent years, while hefty capital expenditure requirements have resulted in five consecutive years of declining pre-tax profits.
The bidders said “Inmarsat’s end markets, notably maritime and government, are competitive”, but the group was “well positioned for growth based on its unique global infrastructure, leading technological and capacity roadmap and strong spectrum holdings”.
Management expects revenues (excluding Ligado) of $1.3bn-$1.4bn in 2019. Although it still expects cash capital expenditure of $500m-$600m a year for 2019 and 2020, this should “meaningfully moderate” thereafter, falling to $450m-$550m in 2021.
The offer values Inmarsat at a decent 2.4 times Inmarsat’s predicted revenue for 2019, according to Numis forecasts. The brokerage notes that it seems unlikely that EchoStar will make a rival bid, as some of its likely hoped-for benefits were “long shots”, for instance that US authorities would let EchoStar combine the only two pan-European S-band licences. At 550p, await documents. (Source: Investors Chronicle)
08 Apr 19. Chemring gets shot of discontinued Chemring Military Products unit. The business sold by Chemring procures and supplies ammunition and weapons systems. It is, of course, based in the USA. Processes to exit the group’s remaining commoditised energetics businesses in Florida and Derby are ongoing. US company Global Ordnance has bought the military trading business of Chemring Group PLC (LON:CHG) for US$4m in cash.
Chemring said US$2.5m of the consideration for its Chemring Military Products division was paid upfront, with the rest to be paid off over the next two years, with US$1m due in April 2020 and the remainder in April 2021. Chemring regarded the business as discontinued. Funds from the disposal will be used for general corporate purposes.
“I am pleased to announce the sale of Chemring Military Products to Global Ordnance. This follows our decision to exit the commoditised Energetics businesses and will enable a greater focus on our growing and differentiated positions in Countermeasures & Energetics and Sensors & Information, and will improve the quality of the group and its earnings,” declared Michael Ord, the chief executive officer of Chemring. (Source: proactiveinvestors.co.uk)
08 Apr 19. ManTech International Corp. on April 1 said it closed its $115m acquisition of Kforce Government Solutions, expanding its footprint in the federal health market, including with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Tetra Tech, a consulting and engineering services firm, acquired eGlobalTech, a provider of information technology solutions, cyber security and management consulting to federal government customers. And the private equity firm Carlyle Group has completed its acquisition of StandardAero from Veritas Capital. StandardAero provides maintenance and repair services for aircraft. (Source: Defense Daily)
08 Apr 19. Triumph Group, Inc. on April 4 came out with surprise announcement that it is exploring strategic alternatives for its Aerospace Structures business unit, which is on track for about $1.5bn in sales in the fiscal year that ended March 31. Triumph said it is reviewing strategic alternatives, which usually equates to shopping a business around, for the Aerospace Structures business as part of ongoing portfolio reshaping, debt reduction and cash generation. There is no timetable for the process. The company’s aerostructures are used on commercial and military aircraft. (Source: Defense Daily)
08 Apr 19. DroneShield lodged its quarterly report for the 31 March 2019 quarter with the Australian Securities Exchange earlier today. DroneShield believes that the quarter ended 31 March 2019 was transformational for DroneShield. Highlights have included:
- DroneShield generated total customer cash inflows of $1,012,642 during the 31 March 2019 quarter, the highest quarterly cash inflows for the Company to date.
- The customer cash inflows for the quarter were 207% of the Company’s 31 December 2018 quarter cash inflows (which were $489,209) and, year on year, 28 times higher than the Company’s 31 March 2018 cash inflows (which were $35,708).
- The customer cash inflows for the quarter were nearly the same as those for the entire 2018 calendar year.
- Because of the increase in sales, net cash outflow for the quarter (before the capital raising inflow) was reduced to $728,302 – approximately half of the quarterly “cash burn” of 2018.
The report covers a number of other key developments through to the date of the report, and we encourage you to review it for a detailed look at DroneShield’s substantial progress.
05 Apr 19. Aeronautics board approve Rafael/Stolero takeover. The ILS850m (USD237m) acquisition of Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) manufacturer Aeronautics by state-owned Israeli defence group Rafael and businessman Avichai Stolero has been approved by Aeronautic’s board of directors. Rafael and Stolero initially bid ILS430m for Aeronautics in 2018. The offer was rejected by the company, leading the bidders in January 2019 to substantially increase their bid. Approval by Aeronautics’ board of directors, a decision announced on 4 April, will lead to the company being delisted from the Tel Aviv stock exchange (TASE) and operated as a subsidiary of a new private entity owned equally by Rafael and Stolero. (Source: IHS Jane’s)