TAUFKIRCHEN (dpa-AFX) - The defense electronics supplier Hensoldt has raised almost a quarter of a billion euros from investors for the takeover of the security technology specialist ESG. Two days after announcing the deal, the company sold 10.5 million new shares at a price of 22.94 euros each, as it announced in Taufkirchen on Thursday evening. This corresponds to gross proceeds of 241 million euros. Hensoldt intends to finance the remainder of the ESG purchase price totaling up to 730 million euros largely with new loans of 450 million euros.
Following initial price losses, Hensoldt shares rose by around four percent to 24.92 euros at midday on Friday and were among the strongest stocks in the MDax, the index of mid-sized stocks. The share price was thus also well above the placement price of the new shares. However, the share price had fallen noticeably since the plans for the takeover and the capital increase became known in mid-November.
The German government contributed around 60 million euros to the capital increase. This means that the German state still owns a good quarter of Hensoldt. The Federal Republic holds its stake for security policy reasons, as Hensoldt supplies important radar systems for the Eurofighter fighter jet and various tank models.
The Italian defense and aviation group Leonardo, which also previously held 25.1 percent of the shares, did not subscribe for any new shares. All new shares are entitled to dividends as of this year.
ESG was founded in Munich in 1967 and is currently owned by the Munich-based investment company Armira. The company develops and operates electronics and computer systems, some of which are security-related, and offers the associated consulting services. According to Hensoldt, the company also plays a decisive role in the planned European air combat system FCAS and the stealth fighter aircraft F-35 from Lockheed Martin, which is also to be used by the German Armed Forces in the future.
According to ESG, the company currently employs around 1,400 people. For 2023, the company expects a turnover of around 330 million euros. This is expected to grow by a low double-digit percentage each year. Around 14% of this is expected to remain as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). Hensoldt expects the takeover to generate annual cost synergies of 19 million euros.
The investment company Armira acquired ESG in 2016 from the European aerospace and defense group Airbus and the other shareholders Thales, Northrop Grumman and Rohde & Schwarz. The takeover by Hensoldt thus brings together two former Airbus spin-offs: the Group finally parted ways with its former subsidiary Hensoldt in 2018 /stw/tav/jha/