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Cobham: Advent International

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL243, tabled on 8 January 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assurances they (1) sought, and (2) received, from Advent International in regard to the acquisition of Cobham plc, that Cobham plc would not be stripped of its assets.

Answered on

16 January 2020

On 20 December, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced that she had accepted statutory undertakings from the parties involved in the proposed acquisition of Cobham by Advent International. These undertakings:

  • ensure that sensitive Government information continues to be protected;
  • ensure Cobham honours the terms of existing contracts and notifies the Government if there is a material change to the ability to supply key services; and
  • require Advent to give prior notice to the Ministry of Defence and Home Office if there are plans to sell the whole, or elements of, Cobham’s business.

Separately, the companies also provided legally-binding undertakings on the wider economic implications of the transaction. The companies have agreed with the Takeover Panel that Cobham’s headquarters will remain in the UK, that the Cobham name will continue to be used and that there will be a guaranteed level of R&D spend. Advent also gave a commitment to the Business Secretary to protect jobs.

These undertakings will secure the future of Cobham and the important role it plays in our world-leading defence sector and economy.