A defensive move

UK defence giant QinetiQ is to buy St Louis, MO-based Westar Aerospace & Defense Group, one of the US’s leading providers of aerospace technology solutions, in a £72.2m ($130m) deal.

QinetiQ is to buy St Louis, MO-based Westar Aerospace & Defense Group, one of the US’s leading providers of aerospace technology solutions, in a £72.2m ($130m) deal.

The purchase is QinetiQ’s second this month, and will increase its US topline to some $290m.

Earlier in the month, the company signed a purchase agreement with Foster Miller, the Boston-based engineering and technology development company, for £91.8 million.

Founded in 1986, Westar has around 900 staff, and forecasts revenues of around £77.8m ($140m) in FY2004. It will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of QinetiQ North America and will remain autonomous, retaining its name, core management team, employees and US facilities.

This year, QinetiQ’s annual results highlighted a 28% rise in operating profits before exceptionals to £56.7m ($102.1m) on turnover which rose by three per cent to £795.4m ($1.43 billion) and EBITDA of £94.3m ($169.8m). In percentage terms, QinetiQ saw its highest levels of growth in the US, generating around £23m ($40m) in orders during the last financial year.

The company’s two US transactions are expected to close later this year and are subject to customary regulator approvals.

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