Meggitt investors approve £ 6.3 billion US acquisition


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British defense company Meggitt has moved one step closer to falling into foreign hands after shareholders gave the go-ahead for a £ 6.3 billion takeover by US corporation Parker Hannifin.

The majority of investors voted for the deal at a general meeting of the group with 99.8 percent of the votes and 86.8 percent of the investors.

But the deal remains under government control because of national security concerns.

It is reported that Economy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is closely examining whether the deal – as well as the separate offer for the other British defense company Ultra Electronics – would harm the UK’s national security.

Meggitt, headquartered in Coventry, manufactures parts for several aircraft, including military aircraft such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and the F-35.

It has annual sales of around £ 1.7 billion and employs more than 9,000 people.

Investor approval for Parker Hannifin’s 800-p-per-share offering comes after rival US suitor TransDigm pulled out of the takeover dispute earlier this month.

TransDigm, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, said it will not make a firm offer for FTSE-250 company Meggitt after placing a potential £ 7 billion bid last month.

Aerospace company Parker Hannifin has already sought assurances to allay UK concerns about the deal by pledging to continue supplying the government, keeping manufacturing and technology in the UK and ensuring the majority of the Meggitt’s board of directors are British.

Following the shareholders’ vote, Parkers Chairman and CEO Tom Williams said, “The legally binding commitments we made along with our recommended offer underscore our intention to be a responsible steward of Meggitt and we are tasked with the UK government to finalize the commitments . ”

But the government has promised to step up its review of defense acquisitions following recent deals in the sector.

It comes amid a spate of overseas business for UK-listed companies, with retail giant Morrisons at the center of a bidding war with US private equity.

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