German cabinet to discuss government stake in Hensoldt on Wednesday – statement

FILE PHOTO: German defense supplier Hensoldt AG shares start trading after IPO
FILE PHOTO: Logo of defense supplier Hensoldt AG is pictured during Hensoldt's initial public offering (IPO) at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, September 25, 2020. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

December 16, 2020

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s government will discuss taking a stake in defence supplier Hensoldt at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the chancellery said.

Reuters reported on Saturday that the German government aims to buy a 25.1% stake in the company from private equity company KKR for 464 million euros ($562 million).

Sources with knowledge of the matter have said the purchase was intended to ward off a foreign buyer from taking control of Hensoldt, whose high-tech cameras are used in Tornado fighter jets, and which listed its shares in an initial public offering in September.

Hensoldt, a former Airbus unit, also supplies radar systems for Eurofighter jets and periscopes for Leopard tanks. KKR, which bought the company in 2016, retained a stake of more than 60% after the IPO.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; editing by Thomas Seythal)