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Former Royal Navy chief torpedoes foreign raids on UK defence companies 

Former Royal Navy chief torpedoes foreign raids on UK defence companies

  • Admiral Lord West is the newest public determine to sound the alarm on takeover presents for British defence firms Meggitt and Ultra Electronics
  • He believes there could be a ‘real risk’ to the UK’s long-term safety and army capabilities if the FTSE 250 companies are offered
  • Meggitt has agreed a £6.3bn cope with US industrials large Parker-Hannifin 

Admiral Lord West was answerable for the Navy from 2002 to 2006

A former Royal Navy chief is the newest public determine to sound the alarm on takeover presents for British defence firms Meggitt and Ultra Electronics. 

Admiral Lord West (pictured), who was answerable for the Navy from 2002 to 2006, stated he believed there could be a ‘real risk’ to the UK’s long-term safety and army capabilities if the FTSE 250 companies are offered. 

Meggitt has agreed a £6.3 billion cope with US industrials large Parker-Hannifin, whereas Ultra Electronics stated in late July it was ‘minded to accept’ a £2.6 billion bid from American non-public fairness large Advent International. West’s intervention comes as politicians and the business have turn out to be alarmed by a raid on ‘UK plc’ by foreign patrons and personal fairness teams eager to snap up firms whose values have plunged throughout the pandemic. 

Firms such because the AA, Aggreko, St Modwen Properties and grocery store Morrisons have all been focused. But the lack of aerospace and defence firms may see the UK lose entry to important expertise and go away employees with world-leading abilities with out jobs. 

West informed the Mail: ‘All these are superb UK companies but they’ve all been weakened on the stock trade due to Covid – and all are actually weak to takeovers. 

‘I do imagine there’s a actual danger to the UK’s long-term safety and army functionality, and it may have a big effect on expert jobs. The Government has received to take some very resolute motion on this.’ 

Meggitt has agreed a £6.3 billion deal with US industrials giant Parker-Hannifin

Meggitt has agreed a £6.3 billion cope with US industrials large Parker-Hannifin

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is monitoring the Ultra and Meggitt offers, fuelling hypothesis he plans to intervene if the offers are formalised. Kwarteng can launch investigations into takeovers that may weigh up whether or not they’re a menace to the UK’s safety. 

Meggitt’s board has backed the deal however it would nonetheless want shareholder sign-off, whereas Ultra’s suitor Advent has not but tabled an official provide. Parker proposed legally binding guarantees in its bid, which embody protecting Meggitt’s HQ within the UK, persevering with to take on apprentices and investing extra in its analysis division.

It has put these ahead after Advent was scrutinised by the Government over its £4 billion deal to purchase Cobham final year. West stated companies that break undertakings agreed with ministers ought to be fined. He stated: ‘Money always makes these people think. If you can tie it to some huge penalty if they break the undertaking, then they might think twice.’ 

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