Thrane & Thrane Accepts Cobham’s $445 Million Takeover Bid

[Satellite TODAY Insider 05-04-12] British defense equipment manufacturer Cobham has secured a recommended 275 million British pound ($445 million) takeover bid for Danish satellite telecommunications manufacturer Thrane & Thrane, the companies confirmed May 3.
   The combined company will be operated from Thrane & Thrane’s current site in Denmark.
   Cobham has been trying to merge with Thrane & Thrane since spring 2011, which culminated with a 270 million British pound ($437 million) bid placed in March after building up a 25.6 percent stake in Thrane’s business.
   “We are very pleased that, by increasing our offer to take account of the dividend for the year now ended, we have reached agreement with the board of Thrane & Thrane,” Cobham Executive Chairman John Devaney said in a statement. “Their recommendation will allow us to move quickly, and with certainty, with the integration of Thrane & Thrane into the Cobham group.”
   Cobham initially submitted an offer to acquire Thrane & Thrane for 420 Danish crowns, or $73.78 per share, in February, but withdrew the offer March 12 after Thrane & Thrane’s board of directors failed to recommend the proposal. Thrane shareholders were not pleased by the board’s actions, which led to the resignation of Thrane Chairman Waldemar Schmidt on March 26.
   A little more than a week later, Cobham announced April 5 that it had purchased a combined 22.74 percent of Thrane’s equity from Jupiter Asset Management and other shareholders.
   Cobham’s satellite telecommunications businesses focuses on mobile communications terminals and generates most of its $160 million average per-year profit from its SeaTel, TracStar and Omnipless businesses. In 2011, MSS operator Inmarsat named Cobham its initial maritime partner for its $1.2 billion investment in Global Xpress Ka-band satellite network, which aims to provide a broadband component to Inmarsat’s L-band mobile satellite communications business. Thrane & Thrane also has significant business with Inmarsat, as the company recently delivered 600 Explorer 325 vehicular BGAN terminals with push-to-talk units and associated server infrastructure to Elektro Brazil on March 15.
   Analysts project that the Cobham acquisition of Thrane & Thrane would more than double Cobham’s satellite telecommunications business and yield more than 2 million pounds ($3.16 million) in annual pre-tax savings by eliminating redundancies in the two companies’ engineering, production and distribution operations. Cobham management said the combined company would reap 4 million British pounds ($6.5 million) in savings per year.

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