05 Sep 19. Rafael acquires drone-focused firm is $240m deal. Israeli defense company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ acquisition of local firm Aeronautics Limited combines the former’s expertise in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance with the latter’s ties to the UAS market.
“We have a strong feeling and understanding that the world is changing and moving more operational requirements toward unmanned vehicles and specifically unmanned aerial vehicles,” said Yuval Miller, executive vice president of aerial and C4I systems divisions at Rafael.
The 850m shekel (U.S. $240m) deal has been in the works for more than a year and received approval earlier this year. Under the agreement, announced Sept. 3, Rafael will hold a 50 percent stake in Aeronautics along with businessman Avichai Stolero.
Rafael, which is known for its Iron Dome air defense system, Trophy active protection system, Litening pods and advances in artificial intelligence, sees an advantage in adding UAS to its global strategy. Aeronautics has a portfolio involving 50 countries and a spectrum of UAVs. Rafael says it has in-house capabilities such as sensors, systems and munitions that have been used on fighter jets and other platforms that can pair well with what it describes as Aeronautics’ lower-tier UAVs.
Rafael has historically cooperated with other local and foreign companies that make UAVs, such as Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries. For instance, its RecceLite pod was integrated on General Atomics’ Predator B/MQ-9s with the Italian Air Force in 2016. But Rafael noticed even more potential in the platforms made by Aeronautics, including its Orbiter UAV products, such as the Orbiter 3 lightweight drone that has a range of 150 kilometers and is used for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance missions.
“These platforms are becoming more robust and their endurance has grown significantly,” Miller said. Indeed, the market is growing in size, to the tune of billions of more dollars in annual spending over the next decade alongside the bolstered capability and and further miniaturization of UAVs.
“This has put us in a position to look for a partner, and we found that Aeronautics, which has an excellent portfolio in 50 countries around the world, and their UAV platforms on the lower tier are world leading, and binding that with Rafael’s network and sensor capability looks like excellent synergy,” said Miller, who foresees a fast-growing business with the acquisition.
Rafael plans to maintain Aeronautics as an independent company, which will evolve its business to Rafael’s products. The two companies already partnered in acquiring Controp Precision Technologies in 2012. Controp makes electro-optical systems. Rafael envisions a productive meshing with its electro-optics for ISR missions and area surveillance.
“We are talking about onboard advanced image processing and [artificial intelligence], and today that also is available in small and lightweight for lower-tier and low-cost UAVs,” Miller said.
Currently, medium-altitude, long-endurance and high-altitude, long-endurance UAVs are costly, but stronger and smaller drones will evolve and combine more sensors and networks, fusing data for an overall customer gain, according to Rafael.
Rafael did not discuss how it might mesh with Aeronautics’ loitering munitions, such as the Orbiter 1K.
The acquisition is part of a growing trend of consolidation in Israel, which saw Elbit acquire former state-owned IMI last year. In 2017 and 2018, Aeronautics was under several investigations that saw its exports restricted and stock price falter. Those hiccups now appear to be behind the firm. (Source: Defense News)
05 Sep 19. Confident Melrose hikes dividend as profit rise lifts shares. Melrose Industries Plc (MRON.L) flagged its confidence in meeting full-year forecasts on Thursday as the turnaround specialist reported a better-than-expected first-half profit, despite weakness in its automotive business.
Shares in Melrose, which focuses on turning around industrial companies and then finding new owners for them, were up by 7% after it also raised its interim dividend by 10%.
Melrose, which clinched an 8bn pound takeover of GKN last year, said it had benefited from a “significantly better” performance at its aerospace unit, which supplies parts for aircraft including the Eurofighter Typhoon.
JP Morgan analysts said the results would ease investor concerns on the ongoing downturn in the automotive sector.
“The strong results and unchanged forecasts, despite ongoing Automotive weakness, underlines that these might be the same GKN assets but they are now managed by Melrose, a significant difference and one that we continue to expect will generate material upside for shareholders from here,” JP Morgan added.
Investments have helped a number of its North American aerospace facilities become profitable again, Melrose said.
However, Melrose warned that weakness would persist in the second half of the year in its automotive division.
Organic sales at the automotive business, Melrose’s biggest, dropped by 7% in the first half, while margins dipped 2 percentage points on a like-for-like basis.
Automakers, major customers of GKN, are facing a host of challenges including declining diesel vehicle sales, stricter regulation, investment in electric vehicles and supply disruption due to the U.S.-China trade dispute.
Melrose has responded with cost curbs.
“Prompt steps have been taken to control costs (at Automotive), which has included the recently announced closure of one of its German production facilities,” the company said.
GKN said earlier this week that it planned to cut 1,000 jobs over the next two years at its aerospace business worldwide, as part of a restructuring plan pre-dating the takeover by Melrose.
Melrose said its operating profit rose to 539 m pounds in the six months ended June 30, beating analysts’ expectation of 500m pounds. (Source: Reuters)
06 Sep 19. Terra Drone Invests in Australian UAV Services Provider. Tokyo-headquartered Terra Drone Corporation, the world’s largest industrial drone services provider, has finalized its expansion into the Australian market after completing an equity investment in Australian firm, C4D Intel Pty Ltd. As part of the deal, C4D Intel will immediately rebrand to Terra Drone Australia.
The move by Terra Drone is the latest of the company’s investments into leading drone technology businesses across the globe and demonstrates the Japanese company’s commitment to the Australian market. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 2016, C4D Intel is an industry innovation leader that provides surveying, inspection, and 3D modeling services to a diverse client base across mining, oil and gas, power, and forestry industries in Western Australia. As Terra Drone Australia, the company will be able to leverage the additional growth capital to expand its service offering to include unmanned airborne LiDAR, bring innovative Terra Group technologies to Australia, and expand its operations to the East coast of Australia.
The Australian drone service provider’s existing clients include mining heavy-weights such as Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group, and large utilities such as ATCO Gas Australia and Synergy. The company specializes in large-scale unmanned aerial surveys, confined space infrastructure inspections, high-altitude inspections, bridge and pipeline inspections, and asset 3D modeling.
C4D Intel Operations Manager Will Wishart said, “We are delighted to join the No.1 industrial drone services company in the world, Terra Drone. When the world’s fastest-growing drone business chooses to expand to Australia, and selects our business to invest in, it speaks volumes about the opportunities available here and the vision we have for the company.
“There are many advantages of being a part of a global organization and this next phase of growth makes for very exciting times. We have already leveraged Terra Drone’s international network to bring new technology to Australia and look forward to accelerating this as we expand our operations across the Australian continent.”
Terra Drone Corporation CEO Toru Tokushige added, “The establishment of Terra Drone Australia is another milestone for our international expansion strategy. Australia bears a strategic significance in our growth plans. Having a local presence in the region allows us to be close to our customers and strengthen our support to them.”
Later this month, Terra Drone Australia will bring innovative drone technology from The Netherlands to Australia for ‘proof of concept’ trials for global mining company Rio Tinto. The Terra UT Drone from Terra Inspectioneering will allow Terra Drone Australia to offer ultrasonic thickness testing of steel in hard to reach places, such as bin walls which are subject to wear. (Source: UAS VISION)
06 Sep 19. KKR Wants to Buy 50% Controp Stake from Aeronautics. Just a few days after the acquisition of Aeronautics by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Avichai Stolero was completed, the new owners are working on a deal to make back almost half of their NIS 850 m investment in the acquisition of the Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developer and manufacturer.
Sources inform “Globes” that Yavne-based Aeronautics is currently in advanced negotiations to sell its 50% holding in Controp to US investment company KKR for $110m (NIS 385m). Negotiations between the parties at a lower valuation for Controp were reported in early 2019, and as far as is known continued in a low-keyed manner ever since. No response from Aeronautics to the report was available.
Controp develops and manufactures advanced electro-optic systems for military uses and border defense. The company manufactures and markets sophisticated precision motion control and observation systems for real-time day and night photography. The systems are designed to detect, recognize and identify targets and objects at distances ranging from hundreds of meters to tens of kilometers. The system is installed on UAVs, helicopters, light aircraft, coast guard ships, vehicles, and poles. The company supplies its products to the Israel Ministry of Defense and foreign defense agencies, and also sells directly to end customers and through large integrators.
KKR invested in two Israeli companies
Controp, founded 30 years ago by a group of Israel air force veterans and former Israel Aerospace Industries employees, operates in the Neve Ne’eman industrial zone in Hod Hasharon and has 300 employees. Rafael directly owns 50% of Controp’s shares. Controp’s CEO is Hagay Azani and its chairman is Yuval Miller.
In a deal completed in early 2012, Rafael and Aeronautics, which already owned 18% of Controp’s shares, acquired full ownership of Controp from its four founders: then-CEO Shlomo Nir, Sason Benado, Eli Ben Aharon, and Yehezkiel Amber. The deal, which gave each of the entrepreneurs tens of ms of shekels, reflected a NIS 300m valuation for Controp, compared with NIS 770m ($220m) in the current negotiations.
Controp’s activity and value have been growing rapidly. The company finished 2018 with NIS 322m in revenue, twice as much as in 2015. Its growth exceeded 10 in each of these years, with a NIS 95m gross profit, a NIS 40 m operating profit, and a NIS 26 m net profit in 2018. Controp’s net profit was NIS 31m in both 2016 and 2017. Controp posted a NIS 3.7m net profit on NIS 130m in revenue in the first half of 2019.
KKR is a large US investment fund that invests in a broad range of instruments, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, and credit. According to the fund’s figures, it currently manages assets in 20 countries worth an aggregate $206bn. KKR was founded in 1976 by Henry Kravis and George Roberts. According to KKR’s website, the decision to found the fund was taken when the founders were eating dinner at the Joe and Rose restaurant in New York. The fund’s share price has risen 31% this year, pushing its market cap up to $21.2bn.
KKR’s portfolio has included two Israeli companies: Clicktale, which analyzes user experiences on digital platforms, and which was sold to a French company, and OptimalPlus, which analyzes big data obtained during chip manufacturing. (Source: UAS VISION/Globes)
05 Sep 19. KKR to sell or float German defence supplier Hensoldt – sources. Private equity firm KKR (KKR.N) is preparing for a stock market flotation or sale of German defence supplier Hensoldt in a potential 2bn euro (£1. bn) deal, people close to the matter said.
The buyout group has in recent weeks listened to bankers present options for exiting its investment, including a listing of 20-30% on the stock exchange or a sale to a defence group or private equity business next year, they said, adding KKR was expected to hire an adviser soon to help arrange a deal.
KKR declined to comment.
The investor bought Airbus’s (AIR.PA) defence electronics business for 1.1bn euros in 2016 and later rebranded it Hensoldt, naming it after a 19th century German maker of binoculars and telescopes. The business comprises military sensors, electronic warfare equipment, avionics and optronics. It employs 4,400 staff and has annual sales of 1.1bn euros.
Hensoldt has said it intends to double its revenues by 2022, benefiting from an expected European military spending spree.
Hensoldt’s high-tech cameras are used in products including Tornado fighter jets that fly surveillance missions over Syria and Iraq, while it also supplies radars for Eurofighter jets as well as periscopes for submarines and Leopard and Puma tanks.
The company also supplies identification systems for combat jets, night vision devices, radars for civil air traffic control and systems for civil and military efforts to counter drones.
Hensoldt is set to benefit from equipping the new Franco-German fighter jet, currently Europe’s largest defence project, which will replace Eurofighter and Rafale jets from 2040.
The group is also expected to pitch for contracts to supply the German navy’s new multi-purpose combat ship 180 and the German army’s new missile defence system. (Source: Reuters)
BATTLESPACE Comment: This is an interesting move coming at a time of consolidation in the defence companies across the world following on from the L3/Harris merger. Certainly in optics and EO/IR there is strong competition from Chin and Israel in particular. EO/IR technology is on the cusp of new technology developments with SWIR coming into the mix and longer range HD systems and cores being launched at DSEI next week. These systems require big investments and KKR may see this as befitting a different structure.
It has beefed up its radar division with the acquisition of Kelvin Hughes and has been winning good orders. The takeover of American Panel by Mercury Systems Inc. was s mart move as AP has access to LG’s advanced display technologies which are required for the new range of 10 bit displays needed for the new longer range cameras and detectors
Who would bid for Hensoldt if it isn’t floated? In earlier years it would fit very well with FLIR who has both EO/IR and radar segments, but FLIR is looking more to AI and drone acquisitions. Thales is looking at technology acquisitions and Leonardo is reported to be looking at European consolidation. The most likely bidders would be Safran or Rheinmetall both of which have which has the money and the technology to bid for Hensoldt to create a European optics/radar powerhouse to rival US, Chinese and Israeli companies such as Elbit. L3Harris could bid but they are working on consolidating the business as is UTC with the current Raytheon merger. It could also trigger further consolidations and sales, perhaps the Thales optics unit could follow? Elbit has already gobbled up the former ITT night vision division.
05 Sep 19. Melrose to “unlock” £400m from GKN. Melrose’s (MRO) shares were marked up by more than 5 per cent following release of its half-year numbers to June, after revealing a 90 per cent jump in adjusted operating profits for the first half – 7 per cent higher than JP Morgan Cazenove’s estimate. Statutory losses narrowed considerably from £325m to just £11m.
For chairman Justin Dowley, “these results show the initial fruits of the ‘improve’ stage of Melrose’s ownership of GKN”, which the engineering company acquired via a hostile takeover in April 2018. GKN aerospace saw sales rise by 7 per cent year on year, and the business is now the largest contributor to overall group profits. Days prior to the publication of Melrose’s half-year figures, we learnt that GKN aerospace would reorganise from four divisions into one fully integrated entity – a move designed partly to improve operational performance, albeit one that means its headcount will reduce by around 1,000.
Meanwhile, both the GKN automotive and powder metallurgy businesses have endured a global downturn in the automotive industry – and Melrose warns that it expects its difficult backdrop to persist into the second half. Cost-control initiatives are under way, including the closure of a German automotive production facility.
Elsewhere, the group’s Nortek air and security business saw a mixed six months. The air segment traded well, but the security and smart technology (SST) area has suffered from US tariffs, the scheduled expiry of a big customer contract, and competitive market conditions. SST has opted to close its Chinese factory and move to contract manufacturing with a third-party supplier. It also continued to integrate IntelliVision, the video and AI analytics company that it bought last year, and expects to launch its new security platform in the next year.
Investors were, perhaps, most enthused by the news that Melrose has launched a working capital review across GKN and aims to “unlock” another £400m of cash. Management says this will mostly come from inventories and inventory management. For the period under review, the group achieved a net-debt-to-cash-profits ratio of 2.3, ahead of management’s expectations.
Investec forecasts adjusted pre-tax profits of £862m and EPS of 13.4p for 2019, from £677m and 12.8p the prior year.
The automotive sector’s problems should not be overlooked, but the cash being squeezed out of GKN is encouraging. But – while the shares sit only slightly ahead of their 52-week average price, and trade at a not hugely demanding 15 times forecast earnings – we remain positive. Buy. Last IC View: Buy, 187.5p, 8 Mar 2019. (Source: Investors Chronicle)
05 Sep 19. Second advisory group recommends Cobham shareholders vote for £4bn deal. The advisory group believes the bid offers a fair premium. Shareholder advisory group Glass Lewis is recommending that Cobham shareholders vote in favour of the company’s £4bn offer by US private equity group Advent International, two days after Institutional Shareholder Services issued similar advice. The advisory group says the bid is in the best interests of shareholders, as it offers a fair takeover premium and an all-cash exit at a favourable valuation taking into account the potential outcomes, risks and uncertainties inherent in the UK defence and aerospace company’s business plan.
“As such, we’re inclined to advise shareholders to choose the ‘bird in the hand’, in this case being the all-cash offer at a significant market premium representing a two-and-a-half-year high price and strong relative value,” Glass Lewis said.
The advisory group said Cobham hasn’t offered particularly substantive disclosure of the process by which its board decided to accept the transaction and noted that the proposed terms have been met with resistance from major shareholders including Silchester International Investors and the Cobham family.
On July 25, Cobham announced it had agreed to the offer that would give shareholders 165 pence cash for each share they held. The price was a 34% premium to Cobham’s closing share price of 122.75 pence the day before.
Cobham shares at 1001 GMT traded at 161.70 pence.
Shareholders are due to vote on the deal at a general meeting on Sept. 16 and, if approved, the acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The offer needs the support of shareholders owning 75% of Cobham’s issued share capital to be approved.
The offer has the support of Cobham’s directors, who have said they will vote for the deal in respect of their shareholdings in the company, representing 0.04% of Cobham’s share capital. In addition, Artemis Investment Management has said it will support the deal and vote for it in respect of its 5.09% shareholding.
However, Silchester International Investors–which owns 11.83% of Cobham–has said that the offer isn’t compelling and asked that the board “seek and respond to other parties who might offer better value” to shareholders. According to a Financial Times report Wednesday, the family of the founder of Cobham has written to the company’s top 15 investors urging them to vote against the deal later this month. (Source: Google/https://www.penews.com)
05 Sep 19. Melrose 2019 Half Year Results. Melrose Industries PLC today announces its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2019.
- Melrose is trading in line with expectations for 2019, with the three main divisions of GKN on track to achieve previously announced targets
- Adjusted operating profit was £539m, which excluding the uplift from loss-making contracts was £494m. The statutory operating loss was £11m; of the £550m adjusting items, only £79m are cash
- Net debt leverage at 2.3x EBITDA is better than expectations due to stronger cash generation
- Adjusted free cash inflow2 from continuing operations of £256m
- A new target to improve GKN’s working capital efficiency, releasing additional future free cash of £400m within our ownership period
- An interim dividend of 1.7 pence per share (2018: 1.55 pence) is declared, up 10%
- Aerospace performance is significantly better than prior year period; adjusted operating profit growth3 of 37% and adjusted1 operating margin improvement of 2.0 percentage points
- Aerospace increasing to 34% of Group adjusted1 profits, becoming the largest division and profit driver in Melrose
- Record year of investment in Aerospace technology and a major announcement to create the ‘One GKN Aerospace’ organisation, to improve performance further
- Automotive and Powder Metallurgy are maintaining profit well in an automotive industry downturn, due to decisive cost reductions
- Significant investment made into class leading eDrive technology
- Nortek businesses’ adjusted operating profit has grown by approximately 40% during our ownership
- Nortek Air & Security has strong fundamentals, HVAC has signed a significant new contract for its industry leading new proprietary StatePoint Technology®
- Security & Smart Technology is challenged by US tariffs and market headwinds
- Many operational improvement programmes and capital investment projects are underway to help improve performance further, while good progress is being made on resolving the GKN loss-making contracts
Justin Dowley, Chairman of Melrose Industries PLC, today said:
“These results show the initial fruits of the ‘improve’ stage of Melrose’s ownership of GKN and, with the overall GKN margin increasing positively, we are excited about what is possible. The performance is in line with expectations and leverage is better than expected. At the same time, this has been a year of record investment in Aerospace technology and substantial eDrive development. The Melrose Board is confident that our businesses will deliver significant upside for shareholders.”
05 Sep 19. Export sales growth and $2.7m profit for Quickstep in end of year results. Sydney-based advanced carbon fibre composite manufacturer, Quickstep Holdings has posted a full-year maiden net profit for FY2019, with export sales booming to support ongoing growth.
In a company first for the independent manufacturer of advanced carbon fibre composite components, Quickstep Holdings has announced a $2.7m profit for FY2019 on total sales of $73.3m – this growth marks a 24 per cent increase on the $59m sales announced in FY2018.
This net profit after tax (NPAT) of $2.7m represents a $5.6m improvement on FY2018 and includes earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) and a $1m tax benefit reflecting future taxable income.
Mark Burgess, CEO and managing director of Quickstep, said, “In FY2019 we delivered across all key metrics and shifted the business to sustainable profitability amid continuing growth. This marks a significant turning point for Quickstep.”
This also marks the first full year the company has enjoyed a positive operating cash flow – Quickstep’s operational and financial turn around has been driven by a number of key factors, including:
- Production of parts for Northrop Grumman for the Joint Strike Fighter Project;
- Production of C-130J wing flaps for Lockheed Martin;
- Production of parts for Joint Strike Fighter vertical tails for BAE Systems and Marand Precision Engineering;
- Manufacturing and development of parts using Qure technology; and
- Continued development of technologies for scaled volume production.
In particular, revenue from Quickstep’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter contracts rose 37 per cent to $53m in FY2019 from $38.6m in FY2018 – JSF revenues are expected to increase further in FY2020, at a more modest rate – reaching full-rate production over the next six-to-nine months.
Further to this, Quickstep’s production of C-130J Super Hercules flaps continued at the long-term rate of two ship-sets per month – supporting Lockheed Martin’s delivery of the key capability.
Quickstep’s relationships with Boeing Defense have continued to evolve, with the company manufacturing components for both the F/A-18 and F-15 programs – while introducing production of accessibility ramps using Qure technology for Lockelec, supplier to a number of Australian rail operators.
“What we have done over the past two years is to provide a firm platform for the future growth of Quickstep and the company’s results for FY2019 show that not only can we deliver on the contracts we currently have, we intend to go out and win more,” Burgess told Defence Connect.
Quickstep has seen significant improvements in the company’s gross margin in FY2019 – with a gross margin of 22.3 per cent, up 6.5 per cent on FY2018 – which has been achieved through a combination of efficiency gains, process improvements, economies of scale and cost reductions, despite a challenging operating environment following a three-month repair of a piece of key production equipment.
Burgess explained to Defence Connect, “These FY2019 results set the tone for Quickstep moving forward – we are focused on the next five years, pursuing and winning further contracts and ensuring that these contracts are measured against the company’s strategic objectives.”
The company plans to accelerate its business development activities to win additional business through its tiered growth strategy, focusing on key areas, including:
- Core defence aerospace: Increasing revenue and diversifying the company’s customer base within the defence/aerospace sector, utilising existing Bankstown facilities while expanding core capabilities.
- Aerospace Qure/advanced manufacturing deployment: Strategic growth within the aerospace and other sectors, using Qure and innovative technology solutions to attract new business opportunities.
- Step-change growth: Step change to commercial aerospace supply. Securing of large global programs and/or inorganic growth across the wider defence, commercial aerospace and automotive industries.
Quickstep is an independent aerospace‐grade advanced composite manufacturer in Australia, operating from state‐of‐the‐art aerospace manufacturing facilities at Bankstown Airport in Sydney and a manufacturing and R&D/process development centre in Geelong. The group employs more than 200 people in Australia and internationally.
04 Sep 19. Thyssenkrupp to leave Germany’s blue chip index DAX; MTU Aero joins. Thyssenkrupp AG (TKAG.DE) will drop out of Germany’s benchmark stock index later this month, stock market operator Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE) said on Wednesday, the latest setback in the ailing conglomerate’s turnaround efforts.
Thyssenkrupp will leave the DAX .GDAXI on Sept. 23 and be replaced by aircraft engine maker MTU Aero Engines AG (MTXGn.DE), making it the second founding member to exit the 30-member index in a year.
Hit by four profit warnings and two botched restructuring attempts, shares in Thyssenkrupp have fallen 45% over the past 12 months, compared with a flat DAX. The stock will become a constituent of Germany’s midcap MDAX index .MDAXI.
“We have to be honest: our performance was too weak and that’s why our relegation to the MDAX is the logical consequence,” Thyssenkrupp Chief Executive Guido Kerkhoff said in a statement on Wednesday.
“What’s important is that we’re now setting up the group in a new and more profitable way in order to win back investor trust.”
For Kerkhoff, exclusion from the DAX marks another defeat in his efforts to overhaul the sprawling group by selling all or part of its prized elevators unit.
The index departure means exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracking the DAX will have to sell the stock. It will also be no longer an investment option for actively managed mutual funds restricted to blue chips as defined by the DAX.
Thyssen, which merged with Krupp two decades ago, has been a member of the DAX since its inception in 1988. Last year, founding member Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) dropped out and was replaced by payments company Wirecard (WDIG.DE).
“The DAX should reflect Germany’s industry. The most recent changes are a sign of the times. Thyssenkrupp’s drop into the MDAX could change the its investor base,” said Tobias Adler, index analyst at Oddo Seydler.
That is not necessarily a bad thing as smaller indices have outperformed the DAX in recent years, he added. The MDAX has gained about a quarter since January 2016, compared with a 12% rise of the DAX. The smallcap SDAX index .SDAXI is up 19%.
Kerkhoff last month said that being a member of a specific index was far less important than tasks including finding new ownership structures for its other businesses such as car parts and plant engineering.
That was echoed by Thyssenkrupp’s largest shareholder, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach foundation, on Wednesday:
“It is the wellbeing of the company that counts for the foundation, not which index it is listed in.” (Source: Reuters)
05 Sep 19. Safran raises annual forecasts after strong first half. France’s Safran (SAF.PA) hiked its annual forecasts and extended the mandate of its chief executive to the end of next year, as the world’s second-largest aircraft parts supplier reported stronger-than-expected first-half profits.
The maker of aircraft engines and components such as landing gear said first-half recurring operating income rose 36% to 1.883bn euros while revenue increased 27% to 12.102bn euros, reflecting higher margins across three reorganised divisions.
Safran, which co-produces engines for Boeing jets including the grounded 737 MAX, expects its adjusted recurring operating income to grow “comfortably above 20%”. It previously expected growth to be “in the low teens”.
It now expects revenue to grow around 15% in 2019 versus a previous forecast of 7-9% for the year. Safran sees underlying revenue growth of 10%, twice the previously targeted rate, based on its assumptions of engine deliveries to Boeing (BA.N).
Cashflow is being hit by 300m euros per quarter due to the decision by worldwide regulators to ground the 737 MAX in March following two fatal accidents, but Safran said this would be reversed in the quarters following any return to service.
Based on an assumption that the plane returns to service in the fourth quarter, Safran expects its free cashflow to represent 50-55% of recurring operating income compared with a previous target of 55%. If the grounding lasts until the end of the year, the rate of cash conversion could dip below 50%. Safran said its board had kickstarted the process of finding a successor to Chief Executive Philippe Petitcolin, who had been due to retire next May. Petitcolin’s term has been extended to end-2020 “in order to favour a smooth transition”, Safran said.
Petitcolin has overhauled the partially state-owned engine maker and defence firm by selling some security activities and taking over seat maker Zodiac Aerospace. Safran’s shares have doubled to 131.3 euros since he came to the helm in April 2015. (Source: Reuters)
04 Sep 19. Dassault Aviation keeps 2019 targets as profit rises. France’s Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA) maintained its 2019 targets for plane deliveries and higher net sales on Wednesday, as it posted a rise in profit for the first half of the year.
The maker of Rafale warplanes and Falcon business jets said its adjusted operating income for the first six months of the year stood at 250m euros ($278.6m), up from 111m euros a year ago.
Adjusted net income rose 54% to 286m euros. Net sales rose to 3.06bn euros, up from 1.71bn euros a year ago.
Chief Executive Eric Trappier said demand for business jets remained slack in the first half, with 7 orders for Falcon aircraft compared with 18 a year earlier.
But the company saw a spike of 19 additional orders in July and August, which was enough to bring the book-to-bill ratio, or ratio of orders to deliveries, above 1 for the first eight months. The forward-looking ratio measures the strength of new business in the pipeline compared to existing production.
Markets nonetheless remain dogged by uncertainties over the outcome of a U.S.-China trade war and Britain’s exit from the European Union, Trappier told a news conference.
Economically sensitive demand for business jets is holding up in the United States, but slipping in Europe, especially in the south, while growing quickly in Asia outside China, he said.
The company took in 2.9bn euros of new orders in the first half, up from 2.8bn a year earlier as a major French defense maintenance contract offset lower demand for Falcon jets and lower export orders for the Rafale fighter.
Dassault is preparing to deliver in September the first of 36 Rafale fighters sold by France to India following the collapse of an earlier deal for Dassault to supply 126 jets.
India is considering a new competition for some 110 fighters and Trappier told journalists he hoped to do more business on the back of the earlier contract for 36 planes and local investments through the government’s “Make in India” initiative.
He called meanwhile for agreement between France, Germany and Spain over export rules for a new manned and unmanned aerial combat system, for which Dassault is a key industrial partner.
Germany has put the brakes on some defense exports to the frustration of some contractors like Airbus Defense and Space. Trappier said that while U.S. arms firms can lean on a large domestic market to generate the demand needed to keep factories running economically, European companies have historically relied on exports to offset their more fragmented home markets. (Source: Reuters)
04 Sep 19. Cobham family steps up fight to block takeover of aerospace group. Lady Cobham urges vote against Advent bid as government seeks economic undertakings.
The family of the founder of Cobham, the aerospace and defence group, has taken its fight to block a £4bn takeover by private equity group Advent International direct to investors, urging them to vote against the deal later this month. Nadine Cobham, whose late husband Michael Cobham ran the company and was the son of the founder Alan Cobham, has written to the top 15 investors arguing the offer “significantly undervalues the turnround of a recapitalised business”. Shareholders in the FTSE 250 group have until September 16 to decide on the 165p all-cash offer that has been recommended by Cobham’s board. Cobham’s share price was trading at 161.8p on Wednesday morning, indicating the market does not expect a rival bidder to emerge. In her letter to investors, Lady Cobham argues the offer from Advent undervalues the company’s recovery over the past two and a half years under chief executive David Lockwood. This echoes concerns already raised by one of Cobham’s biggest shareholders Silchester International, which has urged the board to seek better offers. Silchester holds 11.93 per cent of the stock. Lady Cobham, whose family owns 1.5 per cent of the company, has previously asked the government to intercede on the grounds that the deal is not in Britain’s “national interest”. Cobham’s pioneering air-to-air refuelling technology is used on all western fast jets but it is also a key supplier of components for the F-35 fighter and to the US military’s electronic warfare and radar capability. Concerns have been raised by a number of MPs as well as former executives of the company at an apparent lack of scrutiny from the government.
However, Andrea Leadsom, secretary of state for business, has now personally responded to Lady Cobham’s concerns, confirming the government is in talks with Advent about securing legally binding undertakings but stopping short of promising to intervene. In a letter addressed to Lady Cobham, a copy of which has been seen by the FT, Mrs Leadsom said the government was “committed to ensuring that mergers benefit the country as a whole”. As a result, she said, the government was in talks with Advent “on the potential for them to provide legally binding undertakings on the economic implications of the proposed merger”. However, Mrs Leadsom declined to shed light on whether the government would intervene, arguing that such decisions were “quasi-judicial in nature and ministers must act, and be seen to act, impartially” and it was therefore inappropriate for her to comment “at this stage”. The department for business, energy and industrial strategy declined to comment on the contents of the letter on Wednesday, citing commercial sensitivities. Under the Enterprise Act 2002, the business secretary has the power to intervene in mergers on public interest grounds covering national security or financial stability, with each merger considered on a case-by-case basis, the department added.
Both Cobham’s management and Advent have insisted there are no national security implications surrounding the takeover. Advent has pledged to maintain investment in Cobham’s research and development and production sites but concerns are rife about the loss of key defence technology. Lady Cobham said the company’s recent interim results had “demonstrated that its turnround strategy is beginning to bear fruit”. “In dollar terms, Advent has gained from the decline in sterling since announcing its offer and if it’s successful in its bid, it will be Advent and not Cobham’s loyal shareholders who will be the greatest beneficiaries of the company’s improving prospects,” she wrote. Her intervention comes after ISS, the shareholder advisory group, on Tuesday recommended investors support the bid that needs to secure 75 per cent backing from shareholders to go ahead. Advent has so far secured the backing of investors holding 5.2 per cent of the stock, including Cobham’s management as well as Artemis Investment Management. Silchester declined to comment on the deal. Another top 10 shareholder indicated they had yet to decide which way to vote. (Source: Google/FT.com)
04 Sep 19. Astrocast Announces a Series A Funding Round of CHF 9M to Go Commercial. Astrocast, the leading IoT Nanosatellite Network, announced today the successful close of CHF 9M ($9.2/€8.3m) Series A round of funding from new and existing investors. The company has raised CHF 16.6M to date and will use the capital to accelerate production of IoT modules, to begin our commercial phase and deployment of the Astrocast’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) IoT Network.
“It has been an amazing year for Astrocast. With the launch of two satellites and a growing number of pilot customers, the company has demonstrated its ability to bring IoT access to the world,” said José Achache, Astrocast Chairman of the Board.
Astrocast is the only IoT company partner with aerospace industry leaders Thuraya, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus. The launch of second test satellite in April of this year makes Astrocast the first to prove its ability to launch, propel, accurately determine the position and communicate with their LEO nanosatellites in less than 2 hours after launch.
The company is also the first to have commercial access to the L-band frequency enabling energy efficient and reliable two-way IoT communications, anywhere. Both satellites have completed a full system test and are functioning at full capacity. Astrocast is now engaging commercial discussions with partners. Its first three pilot customers, Actia, Marine Instruments, and Swiss Fresh Water have begun on-the-ground testing.
Astrocast also announced the award of a CHF 500,000 loan from the Foundation for Technological Innovation. The FIT Growth loan encourages entrepreneurship, supports innovation and bolsters the local economy by supporting technology startups in the county of Vaud Switzerland. Astrocast received a similar award called the FIT Seed Loan in 2015.
“We are excited to see the continued confidence of our investors and partners in the new space race and our company as we make our mission of building the world’s first IoT network for the planet, a reality,” said Fabien Jordan, CEO of Astrocast. “As we move toward our commercial launch in Q1 of 2020, we are further confirming our leadership as a fully integrated nanosatellite operator and our unique ability to deliver efficient IoT satellite coverage globally. Next steps with investors will be to secure an accelerated deployment of our global fleet of satellites.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
03 Sep 19. Teledyne Acquires Micralyne. Teledyne Technologies Incorporated (NYSE:TDY) announced today that its subsidiary, Teledyne Digital Imaging, Inc., has acquired Micralyne Inc. (“Micralyne”). Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Micralyne is a privately-owned foundry providing Micro Electro Mechanical Systems or MEMS devices. In particular, Micralyne possesses unique microfluidic technology for biotech applications, as well as capabilities in non-silicon-based MEMS (e.g. gold, polymers) often required for human body compatibility.
MEMS devices, which contain miniaturized mechanical and electro-mechanical elements, are manufactured using unique microfabrication techniques and process expertise. Through Teledyne DALSA, Teledyne’s existing MEMS foundry in Bromont, Quebec, supplies major companies with high-volume MEMS manufacturing for a wide range of applications including consumables used in life sciences and semiconductor fabrication. In its annual research report, the Status of the MEMS Industry 2019, Yole Développement cited Teledyne DALSA as a leading pure-play foundry for MEMS.
“Micralyne’s technology, processes, and strong product development pipeline ideally complement Teledyne’s state of the art 200 mm (8 inch) manufacturing capability and expertise,” said Robert Mehrabian, Executive Chairman of Teledyne. “The acquisition of Micralyne solidifies Teledyne as the number one independent multi-product MEMS foundry in the world.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
03 Sep 19. CIRCOR Announces Sale of Non-Core Spence and Nicholson Product Lines for $84.5m. Transaction Enhances Focus on Core Flow-Control Business; Company to Use Cash Proceeds to Pay Down Debt.
CIRCOR International, Inc. (NYSE: CIR), a leading provider of flow-control solutions and other highly engineered products for the Industrial, Energy and Aerospace & Defense markets, today announced the sale of certain assets and liabilities relating to its Spence and Nicholson product lines to Emerson (NYSE: EMR) for approximately $84.5m in cash, subject to an adjustment for working capital. The transaction closed on Friday, August 30, 2019. The Company expects to use the net proceeds from the sale to pay down outstanding debt.
“Consistent with our growth strategy, this divestiture sharpens the focus on our core, mission-critical flow-control platforms and delivers on our commitment to strengthen our balance sheet,” said Scott Buckhout, President and Chief Executive Officer of CIRCOR. “The Board of Directors and management are confident that the steps we are taking, including the evaluation of other non-core businesses, will continue to deliver enhanced value for our shareholders in the near- and long-term.”
For 2018, the Spence and Nicholson product lines contributed approximately $7m of operating income. The product lines provide steam regulators and steam traps for the district heating market. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
04 Sep 19. Thales posts higher H1 profits, tones down sales growth guidance. French defence electronics group Thales (TCFP.PA) reported higher first-half profits on Wednesday but toned down its organic sales growth outlook for the full year, citing a slowdown in the commercial space market.
Thales said that given an expected fall of around 10% in the sales of its global space business, it now eyed 2019 organic sales growth at the lower end of its previous guidance of 3-4%.
“The wait-and-see attitude of clients in the commercial telecoms satellite market can rationally be explained by technological changes,” Chief Executive Patrice Caine told reporters, citing an increasing sophistication in satellites.
He added that he nonetheless expected that market to grow by 5% a year over the next 10 years. The group confirmed all its other financial goals for 2019, saying it would continue to benefit from positive trends in the majority of its markets.
First-half earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 8% from last year to 820m euros while reported sales grew 9.9% to 8.2bn euros, reflecting the recent acquisition of Gemalto. Sales were down 0.5% when excluding the effect of acquisitions and currencies.
The group reiterated that for 2019 it expected an order intake slightly over 18bn euros and an EBIT of between 1.98bn euros and 2bn euros, which factors in the contribution of the recently-acquired Gemalto business.
Thales, in which the French state has a stake of 25.7% while Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA) has a 24.7% stake, has consolidated Gemalto’s activities from April 1 onwards. (Source: Reuters)
04 Sep 19. Thales discloses its 2019 half-year results.
- Order intake: €7.0bn, up 10% (-1% on an organic basis)
- Sales: €8.2bn, up 9.9% (-0.5% on an organic basis)
- EBIT: €820m, up 8% (+4% on an organic basis)
- Adjusted net income, Group share: €574m, up 7%
- Consolidated net income, Group share: €557m, up 22%
- Free operating cash flow: -€332m
- All 2019 financial objectives confirmed, with organic sales growth at the lower end of the previous guidance (3% to 4%)
Thales’s Board of Directors (Euronext Paris: HO) met on 3 September 2019 to review the financial statements for the first half of 2019.
“In the first half of 2019, Thales posted a solid performance, once again demonstrating the resilience of its business model. In spite of the slowdown in the commercial space market as well as a high basis of comparison in the Transport and Defence & Security segments, sales remained stable at constant scope and currency. The commercial momentum remained solid, with the booking of 7 large orders with a unit value of more than €100m. Operating margin grew organically, led by a very good performance in the Defence & Security segment. The results achieved by Gemalto, consolidated since 1 April 2019, were in line with our expectations. This positive momentum allows us to confirm our 2019 financial objectives.
All Group teams remain focused on the implementation of the second phase of Ambition 10, our strategic plan, and on Gemalto’s integration.” Patrice Caine, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
03 Sep 19. GKN Aerospace to cut about 1,000 jobs in streamlining push. UK company owned by buyout group Melrose Industries to reduce workforce by 6%. GKN Aerospace’s UK operations employ about 3,500 people. GKN Aerospace is to cut about 1,000 jobs over the next two years as part of moves by the UK-based company to streamline its operations and boost performance. The aerospace and defence supplier, which was acquired by buyout specialist Melrose Industries last year as part of a £8bn hostile takeover of engineer GKN, said the cuts would hit non-production jobs with a focus on back office and support functions. Four internal divisions will be merged into a single unit, with the job cuts amounting to just under 6 per cent of GKN Aerospace’s total workforce of 18,000. Hans Büthker, chief executive, said the company’s “rapid growth” in recent years had made it “relatively complex” and that it was now “creating a single, fully integrated business aligned to our customers’ needs”. “We will be better able to standardise our processes and internal systems, and therefore drive up operational performance,” he added. GKN Aerospace did not rule out compulsory redundancies but said it would try to manage most of the job losses through “natural means” such as attrition or redeployment. The company said no decision had been made on where the bulk of the cuts would fall. The majority of its staff are in the US, the UK, the Netherlands and Sweden, with the group’s UK operations employing about 3,500 people. The job cuts are part of a previously announced plan by GKN Aerospace to streamline its business. The news comes just ahead of the publication of first-half results by Melrose on Thursday. The buyout group’s hostile takeover of GKN last year sparked a political backlash over fears of asset stripping.
Melrose subsequently made a number of commitments, including pledging not to sell the GKN Aerospace division within five years without government permission. However, unions accused the company in April of a “breach of faith” after it announced that GKN’s King’s Norton facility in the West Midlands, which makes windows and canopies for military and civil planes, would be wound down by 2021 with the loss of 170 jobs. Melrose at the time said the decision had been made by GKN management and pointed to a £32m investment in a centre for aircraft wing technology at Filton, near Bristol. Rhys McCarthy, national officer at Unite, said on Tuesday that the union would be seeking assurances from GKN “that no UK production staff will be affected by job cuts in addition to guarantees over future investment in the UK”. Analysts at RBC Capital Markets said news of the estimated workforce reduction of 6 per cent was “in line with strategy to drive divisional margins to at least 12 per cent” and to “remove net costs of £150m+ in Aerospace”. GKN Aerospace makes parts for Boeing and Airbus and generated more than £3.5bn in turnover at the end of 2018. (Source: FT.com)
03 Sep 19. GKN Aerospace announces global integration.
- GKN Aerospace to reorganise to become more customer-focused and improve operational performance
- The global transformation follows years of growth-by-acquisition, and will see it move from four independent internal divisions into a single, fully integrated business
GKN Aerospace has announced details of a worldwide reorganisation in order to create a simpler, more competitive, customer-focused business.
The business has grown rapidly by acquisition over recent years, increasing in scale from £600m turnover in 2006 to more than £3.5bn at the end of 2018. Today, it is structured with four independent divisions, each focused around products and internal capabilities. In the new structure, GKN Aerospace will fully integrate as one business, with customer-facing teams and a single, connected network of global sites, all supported by shared services.
The new structure will enable the business to better serve its customers, improve operational performance, collaborate internally and maximise its potential for future growth.
Hans Büthker, Chief Executive Officer GKN Aerospace, said: “We are creating a single, fully integrated business aligned to our customers’ needs, which will ensure we are better positioned within the competitive global aerospace market.
“Our rapid growth has brought us world-leading technology, an outstanding global footprint from which to support our customers, a balanced portfolio of work across all major aircraft platforms, and great people. It has also made us relatively complex. By taking the next step and fully integrating, we can begin to realise our full potential.”
The reorganisation will take place within the next two years and, following the move to simplify the business, GKN Aerospace’s global headcount is expected to reduce by around 1,000 roles. These will be non-production roles, as it reduces layers of management and support functions, and increases its focus on operations. GKN Aerospace will aim to manage as much of this reduction as possible through natural means, such as the usual turnover of people, vacancy management and redeployment of employees.
Mr Büthker continued: “This is a fundamental transformation of the business and it is the right move for the long-term as we move into a more coherent business structure. The reduction in roles is difficult for all involved and we will work closely with Works Councils and social partners in all our key regions over the coming months to minimise the impact wherever possible, and ensure the process is managed in the most appropriate way.”
GKN Aerospace first outlined its future intention to integrate via a single global operating model in Quarter 1 last year, and consultation has now begun with key stakeholders on the details of the proposals.
“Looking ahead, when this restructure is complete, we will be simpler, stronger and more successful,” said Mr Büthker. “We will be better able to standardise our processes and internal systems, and therefore drive up operational performance. We will be able to collaborate and share best practice more effectively across our network of sites. We will be able to offer our full range of technology to customers via clear customer-facing teams. In all, we will be more efficient and better positioned for future growth.”
GKN Aerospace has 50 manufacturing sites across 15 countries and today employs around 18,000 people.
BATTLESPACE Comment: Is this reorganisation the beginning of streamlining GKN Aerospace for disposal by Melrose Plc prior to the four year promise the Company made to the UK Government to preserve IP and jobs. Given the Private Equity bids for Cobham and Inmarsat, GKN must be on the dashboard for a private Equity bid given the value of the Pound. Melrose has already sold Walterscheid, a GKN Limited Company based in Germany, to One Equity. (see below)
27 Jun 19. One Equity Partners Completes Acquisition of Walterscheid Powertrain Group. Successful Carve-Out of Off-Highway Powertrain Market Leader Completed, Customers Poised to Benefit from Company’s New Ownership. One Equity Partners (“OEP“), a leading middle market private equity firm, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Walterscheid Powertrain Group, (“Walterscheid” or “the Company”), a leading provider of original equipment and aftermarket parts and services for off-highway powertrain applications, from GKN Limited.
Walterscheid, headquartered in Lohmar, Germany, manufactures, distributes and services shafts, gearboxes, attachment systems, clutches and other parts for off-highway applications. Founded in 1919, the Company’s 2,200 employees provide a wide range of services for agricultural, construction, mining, and industrial OEM and aftermarket customers in Europe, China and North America.
“We look forward to supporting CEO Wolfgang Lemser and his team as they continue to manufacture superior powertrain solutions and provide the best in-service support to the world’s leading off-highway and industrial original equipment manufacturers,” said Joseph Huffsmith, Managing Director, OEP. “Walterscheid is a highly-regarded business that continues to execute on its growth strategy and deliver exceptional products and services to customers in the agricultural, construction, mining and industrial industries.”
Walterscheid has 10 manufacturing plants and operates 26 aftermarket service locations across four continents, providing comprehensive aftermarket and service offerings through 130 distribution partners worldwide. The Company also manages 22 service centers in 16 countries.
“OEP has a strong track record of sponsoring corporate carve-outs that build strong, independent and market-leading industrial companies,” said Lemser. “We are pleased to partner with OEP as we further grow our customer solutions in the U.S. and Europe.”
OEP has proven experience acquiring and building industrial manufacturing businesses into market leaders, including Grupo Phoenix, a maker of rigid packaging containers for the global food and beverage industry; Merfish Pipe & Supply, a value-added distributor of imported and domestic steel pipe products; and, USCO, a leading supplier of aftermarket and OEM parts to the global earthmoving machinery industry, among others.
03 Sep 19. CNH Industrial to spin off truckmaker Iveco as separate unit. Proposal part of five-year plan to double profits at agricultural equipment group. CNH Industrial, the agricultural equipment maker controlled by Italy’s Agnelli family, will spin out truckmaker Iveco as a separate business as part of a five-year plan to double profits. The company will hive off Iveco, Iveco Bus and the Heuliez Bus commercial vehicle brands, along with its powertrain business, into a separate company with revenues of $13bn by 2021. The remaining company will comprise the tractor business and construction equipment divisions, as well as special vehicles such as firefighting trucks, with combined revenues of around $16bn. “The bold plan will lead to the creation of two new global leaders in their respective fields,” said CNH chair Suzanne Heywood. The move continues a trend begun by Fiat Chrysler’s late former chief executive Sergio Marchionne, who separated both CNH and Ferrari from the carmaker, creating huge amounts of value in the process. The split is part of a five-year plan unveiled on Tuesday by CNH to increase its profit margin to 10 per cent by 2024, more than double current levels. It plans to invest $13bn into product development over the period, with the expectation that profit-per-share will rise from $0.86 at current levels, to $2 by 2024. Truck businesses tend to attract higher trading multiples than carmakers, but lower valuations than tractor-making groups. The planned split echoes Volkswagen’s decision to list part of its own truck brands, MAN and Scania, which began trading as Traton Group in June, though the listing was delayed and raised only €1.6bn, much lower than had previously been planned. (Source: FT.com)
03 Sep 19. RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., developer and manufacturer of some of the world’s most groundbreaking technologies for air, land, naval, space and cyber applications, announces it has completed, with its partner, Mr. Avichai Stolero, the acquisition of Aeronautics Ltd., one of Israel’s leading developers of unmanned aerial systems. The deal is set to be finalized in the coming days.
Heading an industry group focused on unmanned solutions, systems and subsystems, Aeronautics Ltd. provides integrated turnkey solutions based on unmanned systems platforms, payloads and communications for defense and civil applications.
Upon Closing, RAFAEL will hold 50% of Aeronautics, with partner Mr. Avichai Stolero, holding the other half. The move comes as part of RAFAEL’s long term strategy to evaluate and implement new areas of growth, including by M&A of unmanned platform companies.
Aeronautics will take part in some of RAFAEL’s innovation projects, with a vision to increase mutual growth, explore new markets, and provide end-to-end solutions in the low-tier aerial domain, relying on best practices, mutual expertise and capabilities, to create new synergies and solutions.
RAFAEL President and CEO, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Yoav Har-Even: We are proud and look forward to working with Aeronautics’ scientists and engineers who bring with them vast experience, knowhow and unique technologies, some of the world’s best. Connecting those with RAFAEL’s technological richness, proven systems, infrastructure and resources, financial robustness, and most importantly, our excellent human capital, is a force-multiplier, guaranteed to be of high technological and strategic value in helping us to reach our goals. I would also like to thank all the people involved in the process, as well as our partner, Mr. Avichai Stolero.
RAFAEL Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Uzi Landau: I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the employees and management of RAFAEL and Aeronautics for their work and cooperation and for the successful completion of this acquisition process. I wish us all the best of luck with our new future endeavors and challenges.
27 Aug 19. Capital Increase Completed by SatADSL and Serge Van Herck to Lead the Firm’s Board of Directors. SatADSL has completed their capital increase and has announced the appointment of Serge Van Herck as President of the firm’s Board of Directors, who is a veteran of the satellite industry and has held positions as CEO and as board member at multiple companies and industry organizations.
The capital increase, subscribed by SPDG (Société anonyme de Participation et De Gestion), the holding company of the Périer-D’Ieteren family, will provide SatADSL with the means required to accelerate the deployment of its global Points-of-Presence (PoP), reaching out to new markets and communities, delivering its solutions and extensive value added services portfolio. SatADSL also benefits from financial and collaborative support from finance&Invest.brussels, the Brussels Regional Investment Company.
SatADSL recently announced the launch of its Singapore PoP, replicating its European and African models, which will enable operators to access its Cloud-based Service Delivery Platform (C-SDP). SatADSL’s C-SDP is a complete operations support system/business support system (OSS/BSS), carrier-grade, fully redundant platform in the cloud, deployed as a Platform as a Service (PaaS), to allow operators to easily outsource satellite services without any upfront investment.
Serge Van Herck said it is a great honor for him to take on this role as Chairman of SatADSL’s Board of Directors, at a time when the need for flexible and accessible satellite solutions is growing so rapidly. This capital increase will allow SatADSL to further optimize and deploy its Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering in new markets. He looks forward to this new challenge, to sharing his knowledge as well as his industry insight and to take SatADSL’s unique offering to the next level.
Serge Van Herck was CEO at Newtec between 2006 and 2016 and, before this, worked for seven years as Head of Satellite Services at Belgacom. He served as a board member of the World Teleport Association (WTA), European Satellite Operator Association (ESOA) and Eutelsat. He also served as a board member at Flanders’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VOKA) and Belgium’s largest employers’ organization and trade association, Agoria.
Thierry Eltges, CEO of SatADSL, stated that this funding will allow a substantial acceleration of the company’s international expansion in an incredibly exciting period for the firm. SatADSL is now fully equipped to bolster global expansion, to deliver advanced services across new regions that include hard-to-reach and previously unconnected remote locations. The firm plans to continue our roll-out of pre-paid voucher-based services to new markets and to operate as a Virtual Network Operator on a wider scale than before. (Source: Satnews)