ThyssenKrupp Technologies AND EADS JOINTLY ACQUIRE Atlas Elektronik
30 Dec. 2005 – On 30 December 2005, ThyssenKrupp Technologies and EADS have signed an agreement with BAE Systems on the joint acquisition of Atlas Elektronik, Bremen. In accordance with the agreement, ThyssenKrupp Technologies will hold 60 percent of Atlas and EADS 40 percent.
With Atlas Elektronik, both companies will pool their competencies in platform, electronic and system activities in the naval field, thus creating a strong naval electronics and systems company in Bremen. In this way, the consortium forms a solid base for preserving jobs and securing know-how in Germany.
With a workforce of 1,750, Atlas Elektronik is a leading company for electronics and systems and specializes in equipment and systems for naval forces. It has a balanced technology base and product programme for submarines and surface vessels. Atlas Elektronik is market leader in the development of integrated sonar systems for submarines and an important supplier to ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. EADS has complementary activities in the field of naval electronics and systems integration that will strengthen, broaden and significantly improve the competitiveness of this business.
The joint acquisition by ThyssenKrupp Technologies and EADS will considerably strengthen Atlas Elektronik in Bremen. The newly created “Maritime Electronics House“ will profit from both parent companies: as European leader in defence technology, EADS is in a strong position in its home markets. ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems is a systems company with a strong position in naval shipbuilding and, with its focus on frigates and corvettes, it unites the core competencies of German naval shipbuilding in the area of conventional submarines and surface vessels. Combining the expertise of the three companies in the export market creates new business opportunities.
“The acquisition of Atlas Elektronik is a continuation of the consolidation of the German naval industry that began with the link-up of ThyssenKrupp shipyards and HDW,” declared Dr. Olaf Berlien, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Technologies.
EADS is contributing its core competence as electronics and systems integration partner of the shipbuilding industry. Dr. Stefan Zoller, CEO of EADS Defence & Security Systems, said: “With this step, we are making a significant contribution to the consolidation of the German naval system business, thus strengthening our position in the national and European consolidation process. In this way, our consortium is creating sustainability and technological leadership as well as long-term employment perspectives for the Bremen site.”
The acquisition will be completed as soon as the relevant supervisory boards and the relevant antitrust authorities have given their go-aheads.
The FT reported that BAE Systems was forced to sell the business for a knock-down price after the German government blocked a more lucrative sale to a French company on the grounds of national security. Thales is understood to have tabled a bid worth €300m. The deal highlights the fraught nature of cross-border deal making in the defence sector because of political interference. German government officials have become increasingly protectionist towards their defence industry in recent years and publicly warned BAE against selling Atlas to the French.
BAE, Britain’s biggest defence company, said it was happy to have completed the deal given the constraints involved. “It is true there is a discount to the price we might have been offered by other bidders,” the company said. “But we really needed the certainty of completion.”
The German government can veto transactions that would involve a foreign company buying 25 per cent or more of any domestic defence business on the grounds of national security. The law, which was passed in 2004, was introduced partly because of fears that French companies would snap up German assets.
The final offer pri