Chemring buys Roke to shore up counter-terrorism branch

Marion Dakers
BRITISH arms group Chemring has bought engineering company Roke from Siemens for £55m, it announced yesterday.

Chemring said the acquisition of the counter-improvised explosive devices (IEDs) specialist will take the group to the forefront of homeland security and offer entry points to other markets such as surveillance.

Roke builds counter-IED equipment used by British forces in Afghanistan. Its turnover last year was £45.3m, and its order book stood at £37.2m in May.

Roke’s existing management team will remain in place following the sale, and its 300 engineering staff will double the total number of qualified engineers employed by the group.

Chemring chief executive David Price said: “The acquisition of Roke will substantially enhance our existing technologies in a number of our key market sectors and will provide a growing number of products and technologies that will allow the group to enter adjacent attractive, high growth markets.”

The purchase is one of several recent expansions for Chemring. Last month it spent £40m on Allied Defence, a US ammunition maker, which was funded by £188m of fixed interest loan notes agreed last November.