Kongsberg buys Rolls-Royce marine business in £500m deal 

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Kongsberg buys Rolls-Royce marine business in £500m deal Friday, 06 July 2018 | Navigation, Autonomy & New Technologies

(l-r) Tristan Halford-Maw, deputy director, M&A Rolls-Royce, with Kongsberg CEO Geir Håøy

Kongsberg has agreed a £500 million deal to acquire Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine, buying the marine products, systems and aftermarket services operations put up for sale by Rolls-Royce after the UK company conducted a strategic review of its business at the beginning of the year and decided to narrow its focus to concentrate on the aerospace, defence and power systems markets.

“The acquisition of Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine makes us a more complete supplier to the maritime industry,” said Geir Håøy, CEO and president of Kongsberg.

“The maritime industry is becoming increasingly globalised and is undergoing considerable technological and market driven changes. With this acquisition we will (be) strengthening our strategic position with shipowners, shipyards and other customers and partners.”

“The acquisition strengthens our global presence and will give increased sales and service volumes. Kongsberg is a world leader within automation, navigation and control systems, whilst Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine is complementary with its deliveries of propellers, propulsion systems, handling systems and ship design. Both companies hold leading positions within digitalisation, ship intelligence and concepts for autonomy. By bringing together this we are positioning us as a significant strategic supplier of complete solutions for the future maritime industry.”

Kongsberg has approximately 7,000 employees and is already present in more than 25 countries, whilst Rolls-Royce Commercial has approximately 3,600 people managing its operations across 34 countries.

Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine’s annual turnover was approximately US$1.1 billion for 2017, compared with Kongsberg’s approximately US$1.8 billion turnover for the same period. Combined, the companies serve around 30,000 vessels worldwide.

Kongsberg says it will finance the US$662 million acquisition through a combination of new equity and a new bond loan, with the Norwegian government, which owns a 50 per cent stake in the business, already confirming its support for the equity move.

Shareholders representing a further 19.7 per cent of the shares in the business have also undertaken to vote in favour of the rights issue, with the total 69.7 per cent support meeting Kongsberg’s own requirements that at least two-thirds of the votes at its general assembly are needed to increase the share capital.

Nordea Bank has also undertaken to provide a bridge loan to Kongsberg in the event that the funding from its planned bond loan has not been completed prior to closing the acquisition.

The completion of the deal is subject to clearance by regulatory authorities in several jurisdictions, and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019. The purchase price will be paid in cash upon completion of the transaction.

“This deal is good news for Rolls-Royce and Kongsberg and comes at a time when the maritime industry is at the dawn of a new and exciting era where digital and electrical technologies will transform shipping,” said Mikael Makinen, Rolls-Royce president, commercial marine.

“Rolls-Royce has been responsible for leading many of those technological advancements, and with combination of great people, market leading technology and a desire by Kongsberg to take this business to the next level, I’m sure that this business will prosper in the years to come.”

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