13 Sep 19. Advent takeover deal for Cobham backed by most shareholders – FT. U.S. private equity firm Advent International is set to clinch its £4bn takeover of defence and aerospace group Cobham Plc (COB.L) after Advent received support from more than 75% of shareholders, the Financial Times reported on Friday.
The tally is based on the number of proxy votes already cast ahead of a crucial shareholder vote on Monday, the FT reported, citing people familiar with the situation. Advent agreed to pay 4bn pounds to buy the British defence and aerospace group known for its pioneering air-to-air refuelling technology in July. Advent offered 165 pence in cash for each Cobham share representing a 50% premium to the three-month average price at that time.
The acquisition requires 75% shareholder approval. Cobham said that shareholder Artemis Investment Management, which holds a 5.13% stake, would back the deal, which Cobham’s directors recommended unanimously.
The biggest investor in Cobham, Silchester International Investors, said in July that it did not consider Advent’s offer “compelling”. Advent said it had no comment on the report, while Cobham did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Source: Reuters)
12 Sep 19. BAE Systems and Marshall collaborate on next generation aerospace technology. BAE Systems and Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on advanced technologies for various next generation air platforms. The MoU lays the framework for the two companies to work together on advanced aerospace technologies for both manned and unmanned air systems and platforms operating in a wide range of environments.
The MoU was signed on the Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group stand at the 2019 Defence Security Equipment International (DSEI) event in London by Marshall CEO Alistair McPhee and BAE Systems Air Sector Engineering Director Ian Muldowney.
Ian Muldowney said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group. Technology and innovation are central to BAE Systems’ strategy, underpinning the continued development of our products and services. We have a long and proud track record of successful collaboration across industry and academia in pursuit of fast paced technological advantage and we are now looking forward to further developing the relationship between our two companies.“
Alistair McPhee said: “BAE Systems is working on some truly innovative programmes which contribute to the UK Combat Air Strategy. We are very excited collaborating on specific advanced engineering activities that exploit the breadth and depth of our applied engineering skills, combining innovation and agility, across a wide range of next generation technology demonstrations.”
The collaboration will include high value design, hypersonics, advanced modelling and simulation. The two companies are seeking to exchange their specialist engineering resources for selected national and international programmes.
oth parties have stated that they will build on the MoU with a view to agreeing a more wide-ranging formal collaboration agreement once the full scope work streams have been ratified and agreed. (Source: News Now/www.baesystems.com)
13 Sep 19. Will Melrose honour the 5 year pledge not to sell GKN Aerospace? In last week’s BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.21 ISSUE 36, 09 September 2019, GKN Aerospace global integration, we reported that GKN was streamlining its aerospace operations wand cutting 1000 jobs. We suggested then that this may be a move to ‘smarten it up for sale,’ which would breach the pledges made by Melrose and key to its clinching the deal, to keep GKN Aerospace for five years. However sources suggest that all is not well at the group’s automotive operations where it recently lost business from BMW for 3 marques 3, 6 and 7 Series due to pricing issues. This will make a big dent in profitability at a time of a global automotive downturn. The other issue is the failure to sell its Sinter Metal operations for the forecast £2bn. The sources suggest that GKN itself was not buying from this division due to quality issues. We have said before that the Melrose GKN deal called the end of the long-running Bull Market, so it may be that Melrose will be forced into a ‘U’ turn on its pledges given the problems in its other divisions and to boost its own balance sheet. City Institutions should have realised the 5 year gap forecast by GKN Aerospace and other aerospace suppliers between new and existing aircraft types and the worries by management about the impact of the global electric car revolution on the automotive division, the Dana deal, proposed by management would have solved all of this. With Private Equity running its slide rule over Cobham, which is expected to fall next week and the recent UTC/Raytheon and L3/Harris deals, perhaps now would be a good time for Melrose to cut and run. After all many of the founders have either retired or will be retiring soon. Watch this space and whether the UK Government will block such a deal. With the GKN Aerospace management structure quietly moved to the Fokker business unit in Holland, we would suggest that it is too late.
13 Sep 19. Stratasys Plans Additional Strategic Investment in Xaar 3D. Stratasys to increase ownership in Xaar 3D from 15% to 45% with option to fully acquire. Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS), a global provider of 3D printing technology and services, announced it has entered into an agreement with Xaar plc (LON: XAR) to purchase shares of Xaar 3D Ltd. that will increase Stratasys’s stake in Xaar 3D from 15 to 45 percent, with Xaar plc, through its fully owned subsidiary, Xaar 3D Holdings, having the remaining 55 percent. In addition, the agreement includes an option for Stratasys to acquire the remaining shares of Xaar 3D. The transaction is subject to Xaar plc shareholder approval.
The strategic investment by Stratasys is intended to enable Xaar 3D to accelerate the development of its additive manufacturing solutions based on High Speed Sintering (HSS) technology. These solutions are designed for end-use parts applications in low-to-medium production volumes, primarily in the industrial segment.
Xaar plc and Stratasys announced the formation of Xaar 3D Ltd in July 2018. The purpose of the joint venture is to develop High Speed Sintering additive manufacturing solutions that Stratasys can bring to market.
“Xaar 3D has made significant progress over the past year and we see benefits to Stratasys in extending its investment in Xaar 3D’s innovative High Speed Sintering based solutions. We look forward to continue developing the technology together with Xaar and believe the combined expertise of both parties will lead to exploitation of the technology’s promising potential,” said Omer Krieger, EVP Products. “This continues our company’s strategy of complementing our own robust R&D efforts with partnerships and investments in other innovative companies to develop new capabilities and products that create new value to our customers.”
“Xaar 3D has great potential and we look forward to continuing to work with Stratasys to develop its full potential in this deeper relationship. I am pleased that this transaction will create good value for Xaar shareholders and unlocks the ability for more significant value in due course,” said Doug Edwards, Chief Executive Officer, Xaar plc. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
13 Sep 19. US defence and space contractor UTC to merge with ACC. US defence and space contractor Universal Technology Corporation (UTC) has agreed to merge with Advanced Core Concepts (ACC). Based in Georgia, US, ACC is a provider of aviation lifecycle management services, cybersecurity, and space mission analysis and risk management tools. Financial details of the transaction have not yet been disclosed.
UTC CEO Joe Sciabica said: “UTC has been providing exceptional services to the Air Force Research Laboratory, Nasa, Missile Defense Agency, and Defense Logistics Agency for 58 years. In ACC, we have a partner with an excellent reputation, an experienced leadership team, and the same core values UTC has held since 1961. The combined company will continue to invest heavily in our communities and provide additional opportunities for our employees and their families.”
Following the completion of the deal, UTC will become the Universal Technology Company and operate as a limited liability firm.
The transaction will widen ACC’s footprint in Dayton, Panama City and Albuquerque.
ACC’s existing strategic locations include Los Angeles, Huntsville, Colorado Springs, Tampa, Oklahoma City, Warner Robins, Florida’s Space Coast and National Capital Region.
In addition, ACC CEO Trase Travers will serve as CEO of the combined business and Joe Sciabica will act as chief technology officer.
Travers said: “The combined company is uniquely positioned to provide full lifecycle support to serve the increasingly complex missions of our customers, as well as provide enhanced training, resources, and career opportunities for our employees.”
Last month, ACC announced the merger of ARMA Aviation, who provides aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), logistics, supply chain, and training services.
13 Sep 19. Better detection and tracking. Elta (Stand S7-330) has developed new algorithms for its ELM-2270 over-the-horizon (OTH) radar that improve the detection and tracking capability of the system when operating in 200nm exclusive economic zones.
OTH radars operate in low-frequency HF bands and can operate at ranges further than a typical sensor can, utilising wave propagation and emitting a signal over the sea that follows the earth’s curvature to detect targets that are beyond line-of-sight. While this is not a new technology, effective implementation of OTH has been challenging, largely due to the HF frequency being affected by clutter, but improved algorithms and a hardware design have enabled the company to overcome this in the ELM-2270. The sensor utilises a 2D receiving antenna uniform circular array with a co-located transmit antenna, and continuously transmits at 120° in azimuth wide-angle beam, while the receiver performs full-digital beam forming, which provides instant coverage of an entire sector. Meanwhile, the Israel Aerospace Industries subsidiary has also announced it has received a contract from an undisclosed Asian customer for its ELM-2114 perimeter protection radar. This will be installed within a system around the perimeter of military assets throughout the country to protect against potential intrusions and includes different independent security layers, this radar being that longest range of those. ELTA is delivering the new ELM-2114 V1K version of the radar, which provides what it says is a 100 per cent increased detection range over its predecessor, ELM-2114 V05, able to operate over ranges of 1km for a moving person and 2km for moving vehicles. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
09 Sep 19. The high technology company, Elbit Systems Ltd. (“Elbit Systems” or the “Company”), announced the establishment of Elbit Systems Switzerland AG (“Elbit Systems Switzerland”). The announcement was made during an opening ceremony held today in the designated office space in Seilerstrasse, Bern.
Establishing a Swiss entity is part of the Company’s long-term growth path in the market. Over the past decade Elbit Systems has been leading successful engagements in the Swiss market, most notably in programs such as INTAFF, ADS15 and others. The Company, through its newly established Elbit Systems Switzerland, will seek to expand the transfer of advanced technologies and know-how to the market, set-up local development capabilities, further grow collaborations with Swiss high technology companies and facilitate ties with scientific and technology research institutions.
In the initial phase Elbit Systems Switzerland will focus on developing a Technology Center of Excellence in several synergetic domains including Communications, Command & Control, Computing and Cyber Intelligence leveraging INTAFF related activities and the recently agreed upon joint venture company with RUAG.
Haim Delmar, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Elbit Systems C4I & Cyber, said: “Switzerland is an important market for us. It is a privilege to be in a position to offer technologically advanced and operational solutions for the Swiss Armed Forces and to cooperate with Swiss high technology companies. We are proud to establish Elbit Systems Switzerland, which I believe will accelerate our capacity to transfer knowhow and will strengthen our capability to provide local engineering and technical support.”
09 Sep 19. BAE Systems has reached agreement to acquire British SME, Prismatic Ltd, as the companies work to further develop the UAV technology. The move forms part of BAE Systems’ strategy to develop breakthrough technologies, undertaking bolt-on acquisitions where they complement existing capabilities and provide an opportunity to accelerate technology development in key areas.
- The PHASA-35® is an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) with the potential to transform the Air and Space market and is now being prepared for flight trials
- The UAV uses long life battery technology and ultra-lightweight solar cells to potentially maintain flight at 65,000 feet for up to a year
- It offers a more affordable alternative to conventional satellite technology
Since an initial collaboration between the two companies was announced in May 2018, engineers have been working at pace to develop two 35-metre solar-powered UAV prototypes, various sensor payloads and operational concepts. In just 15 months, the team has delivered two full-scale prototype aircraft, which are now undergoing integration testing at BAE Systems’ Warton facility in Lancashire in preparation for flight trials planned for early next year.
Nigel Whitehead, Chief Technology Officer at BAE Systems, said: “The UK is a world leader in combat air technology and bringing together the best of British expertise is critically important to drive future technological innovation that will ensure we retain this enviable position.
“Working together with Prismatic, we’re pushing technological boundaries to develop a revolutionary solar powered aircraft at an incredibly rapid pace. Our investment in the company will enable us to take this technology into production, with the very real possibility that this aircraft could enter initial operations with customers within 12 months of flight trials.”
Paul Brooks, founder and CEO of Prismatic, said: “We are a small, entrepreneurial team of scientists and engineers focused on designing and demonstrating novel, high value aerospace systems. This investment from BAE Systems represents a landmark in the development of Prismatic, giving our team access to world-class expertise and capacity in systems integration, productionisation and operations that will enable our developments to be fully exploited. This is a partnership built on outstanding technical experience and which exploits the very best in small company thinking and large company experience.”
As a High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) vehicle, the PHASA-35® (standing for Persistent High Altitude Solar Aircraft) is powered by the Sun during the day and by batteries overnight. The long-life battery and highly efficient solar technology allow the aircraft to potentially maintain flight for up to a year, operating in the upper regions of the Earth’s atmosphere. The novel aero structure design combined with the advanced solar technology makes PHASA-35® a game changer in the air and space market.
Due to being made from ultra-thin carbon fibre composite material, PHASA-35® has a lightweight build and high aerodynamic efficiency, which allows it to fly at high altitudes for extended periods of time. The aircraft has also been designed to be easily manufactured. The prototype PHASA-35® has a 35-metre wingspan and weighs just 150kg, including a 15kg payload.
PHASA-35®, when connected to other technologies and assets, will provide both military and commercial customers with capabilities that are not currently available from existing air and space platforms. The UAV has the potential to be used in the delivery of 5G networks, as well as provide other services, such as persistent surveillance, disaster relief and border protection, at a fraction of the cost of satellites.
Cutting edge development
Technology and innovation are central to BAE Systems’ strategy, underpinning the continued development of its products and services. In 2018, BAE Systems spent £1.5bn on research and development, of which £222m was self-funded and included collaborative projects with leading UK universities in areas such as novel materials, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, air vehicles and avionics testing.
The Combat Air Strategy, announced last year, has set the tone for how the UK Government sees industry evolving in a competitive market, highlighting the criticality of collaboration to optimise investment and drive pace in the development of cutting edge technology here in the UK.
As a proven lead systems integrator, BAE Systems is working with multiple innovation partners to accelerate technology and capability acquisition and insertion across its product and service portfolio. BAE Systems’ collaboration with Prismatic adds to a growing number of successful collaborations across the company in pursuit of fast paced technological advantage. The company is working with Reaction Engines to accelerate the development of SABRE® (Synergetic Air Breathing Rocket Engine), a new aerospace engine class that combines both jet and rocket technologies with the potential to revolutionise hypersonic flight.
BAE Systems is also partnering with researchers at The University of Manchester on MAGMA, a UAV with ‘flap-free’ technologies. During flight trials earlier this year, the aircraft was manoeuvred entirely by supersonically blown air, removing the need for traditional movable flight control surfaces. An aviation history first, these innovative flow control technologies could revolutionise future aircraft design.
03 Sep 19. SWISSto12 Closes Series B Financing and Partners with Tyvak for mini-GEO Smallsats. SWISSto12 has closed a CHF 18.1M (USD 18.5m) Series B financing round, led by Swisscanto Invest by Zürcher Kantonalbank and Swisscom Ventures and returning investor Constantia New Business (CNB).
This new round will accelerate the company’s industrialization and the commercial deployment of antenna products for communication satellites. The company will also direct the funding toward the introduction of new advanced communication payloads for the smallsat market as well as continue the expansion of its recently opened offices in the U.S. and Israel.
In addition, SWISSto12 will explore first opportunities in terrestrial communications, such as 5G. Additive manufacturing (3D printing) provides a unique opportunity for next-generation equipment onboard communication satellites. With SWISSto12’s innovative solutions, satellite communication operators gain high-performance, lightweight, and highly customizable products, opening a new area in payload engineering.
The technology also brings new design and manufacturing possibilities that SWISSto12 has mastered after development and successful space qualification of its patents. In a short amount of time, SWISSto12 will deliver on the firm’s promise of space ready, 3D-printed radio frequency communication products. As the company also moves into the smallsat and constellation markets, SWISSto12 will provide high-performing and versatile antenna payload products based on the firm’s additive manufacturing technology expertise.
The Board of Directors is delighted to welcome Swisscanto Invest and Swisscom Ventures, which together with CNB, constitute a first-class pool of experienced, global investors, committed to the long-term success of SWISSto12. These major institutional investors will contribute to strengthening a sustainable ramp-up capacity for SWISSto12.
Marking another major company milestone, Michael Kaliski has joined as Head of SWISSto12’s U.S. team. With more than 25 years of satellite communications experience, Kaliski will build a U.S. engineering and sales team, in Santa Clara, California, to meet increasing customer demand.
Previously, Kaliski worked at RUAG Space as Director of Payload Systems and Business Development with a focus on telecom satellite Digital Payloads and Solid State Power Amplifiers. Prior to this, Kaliski spent more than 23 years in multiple roles at Space Systems/Loral (SSL, now Maxar) including Satellite Thermal Systems, Communications Payload Systems, Program Management, and as the Engineering Lead for the payload supply chain.
Nils Granath, responsible for ICT investments at Swisscanto Private Equity Switzerland Growth I KmGK.Pär Lange, Investment Partner at Swisscom Ventures, said SWISSto12 convinced the firm with its innovative technology and business model. With its space-ready, 3D-printed radio frequency communication products, the company believes SWISS to12 has a great growth potential. It is an ideal addition to the firm’s portfolio, which focuses on unlisted Swiss growth companies in the expansion phase. With its innovative 3D-printing technology, SWISSto12 is leading the way into the next generation of microwave components such as wave guides, antennas,and filters, giving the aerospace industry unrivaled solutions in terms of performance, weight and size. As the satellite industry is transforming, with many LEO constellation initiatives on the way, the firm believes that SWISSto12 will have an important part to play in this development a
Philipp Thurn und Taxis, Managing Director of CNB, added the company is proud of the path already taken by SWISSto12 and are delighted to join forces with two highly experienced investors who bring complementary strengths to the firm’s investor base.
Dr. Emile de Rijk, CEO of SWISSto12, said that with this financing round, the company’s mission to bring disruptively performing and reliable, 3D-printed communication products to the aerospace industry goes to the next level. The firm is round to have brought the first products into operation in space this year and look forward to further developing our journey with the company’s clients by enabling increasingly affordable and flexible satellite communication services and are excited to have the trust of Swisscanto Invest, Swisscom Ventures and continued support from CNB as new capabilities are brought to the space industry. SWISSto12 thanks its fantastic team, shareholders and long-term supporters for their work and help in the successful growth of the company. SWISSto12 will be attending the World Satellite Business Week in Paris, France, from September 9 to 13. (Source: Satnews)
06 Sep 19. Red River Acquires CWPS. The Acquisition Adds Depth, Breadth and Maturity to Red River’s Managed Services Portfolio. Red River, a technology transformation company, announced today that it has acquired Washington D.C.-based CWPS. The acquisition adds depth, breadth and maturity to Red River’s managed services portfolio and infuses the company with more than 150 talented, innovative people. The acquisition also enhances Red River’s geographic footprint within the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions and strengthens the company’s position as a leading cloud services provider by adding scale and scope in major cloud environments including Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and AWS.
“The need for managed services platforms that can scale to meet the dynamic requirements of government, military and commercial organizations is high,” said Rick Bolduc, CEO and Chairman, Board of Directors with Red River. “With the addition of CWPS, its people, leadership team, systems and past performance, Red River is well positioned to take advantage of this growing opportunity.”
CWPS is a technology solutions provider specializing in managed services ranging from complex network, collaboration, data center, cloud management and security through Tier 1 service desk. This expertise enhances Red River’s ability to better serve its customers across the full spectrum of technology – from designing, selling and integrating technology infrastructure to full-lifecycle services, application development and support.
“CWPS has successfully navigated every growth cycle in our business without having to take outside investment,” said Jason Waldrop, CEO of CWPS. “To accelerate our future growth, CWPS needed to find a partner with substance. By joining with Red River and leveraging its scale, resources and mature operating framework, we can provide greater opportunities for our employees and have greater impact on our customers’ technology and business outcomes.”
Red River now has two 24 x7 Network Operations Centers (NOC) and a geographic footprint that features major office locations in New Hampshire, Virginia, Texas and California with engineering and sales resources in over 25 states. CWPS will fold into Red River’s Managed Services organization with Jason Waldrop serving as the division’s President. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)