UK probes US company takeover of aerospace group

Britain’s government has launched a probe into the takeover of aerospace parts manufacturer Meggitt by US technologies company Parker-Hannifin Corporation, citing national security concerns.

The UK business department late Monday announced its referral to Britain’s competition watchdog of the recently-announced deal worth £6.3 billion ($8.7 billion, 7.5 billion euros).

Responding Tuesday, Meggitt said it “continues to expect that the acquisition will complete in the third quarter of 2022”.

The Competition and Markets Authority is meanwhile required to investigate and report on its findings before then, by mid-March next year.

The government said in a statement Monday that Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng “believes that it is or may be the case that the national security public interest consideration… is relevant” to the takeover in question.

Parker has already pledged a number of legally binding commitments to the UK government regarding its cash deal, such as ensuring that Meggitt meets current contractual obligations to the state.

It comes as Britain has ordered a probe into the takeover of UK defence technology firm Ultra Electronics by US-owned Cobham in order to assess risks to national security.