Cobham acquires the remaining stake of helicopter joint venture

Suzie Neuwirth
ENGINEERING and defence group Cobham yesterday announced that it has bought the remaining 50 per cent of its helicopter business from its joint venture partner.

The FTSE 250-listed firm will pay £74m for Bristow Helicopters’ stake in FBH, which specialises in defence helicopter training and holds a contract with the Ministry of Defence.

It is expected that the acquisition will be immediately earnings enhancing and will cover the cost of capital in the first year of ownership.

“FBH is a business we know extremely well through our long established joint venture arrangement and it has capabilities that are highly complementary to our existing aviation services business,” said Cobham chief executive Bob Murphy.

“It also brings a long track record of operating in attractive, specialist outsourcing markets with demonstrable success in winning contracts across the globe.”

FBH owns over 60 helicopters and supports over 100 helicopters globally, conducting over 40,000 flight hours each year.

As of 31 December 2012, FBH had gross assets of £98m.

Cobham’s shares closed 0.2 per cent lower at 286.20p.