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Hensoldt’s Ambitous Plans

Kelvin Hughes Acquired by Hensoldt

“Raising the turnover in five years by 100% from €1 billion to €2 billion a year,” is the ambitious goal to be fulfilled by 2022 of the German radar and optronic specialist Hensoldt . As revealed by Hensoldt’s CEO Thomas Müller during a press briefing in Berlin, the corporation with roots in the Airbus group wants to grow considerably in its own field of business and production (up to €1.5 billion turnover). Still, more than €500 Million in turnover should be generated by purchasing competitors throughout the sector.

As their latest acquisition Hensoldt’s Strategy Chief Celia Pelaz introduced Kelvin Hughes. The British radar company was said to be taken over for an undisclosed amount. The relatively small competitor who has 200 employees and an annual turnover of roughly €30 million is to join Hensoldt at the end of the year, given the approval of British, German and European authorities. Kelvin Hughes is especially attractive for its SharpEye radar arrays, which were said to be installed onboard the ships of more than 30 navies and other uniformed services. Thus, the company could give Hensoldt a foothold in markets which were unreachable before. It remained unclear if Kelvin Hughes or SharpEye would continue to exist as independent companies or trademarks.

For acquisitions and its relentless expansion policy, Hensoldt has been gathering formidable financial assets. A sum of €230 million has been contributed by long term loan, which has recently been placed in the financial market. “In addition to that sum our register has been well equipped by our investors. Moreover, Hensoldt has never been in red numbers,” said Müller commenting on the financial situation.

Hensoldt currently employs more than 2,000 people at its main production facility at Ulm, southern Germany. Another 600 engineers and developers were said to work in Pretoria, South Africa. More developers from Airbus in Toulouse, France are to join the company later this year. These plans are still under supervision and possibly veto from the French government.

Müller and Pelaz also revealed plans to expand into the US market. They cited well founded contacts to Boeing Defense and Lockheed Martin. For the latter, Hensoldt offered a mission computer to be integrated into the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme. “We are proud that our package made it into the final assessment round among just two other products,” Müller said.

Hensoldt plans to wrestle with Thales and Raytheon in the radar and warning systems markets, Müller explained. Both senior executives were reluctant to speak about any future acquisition or takeover. Müller made clear, “that acquisitions will not be made aggressively. All parts of the Hensoldt family must fit together and augment our portfolio and strategy.”

Moreover, it would be the plan of the investor to emit Hensoldt shares at the stock exchange markets within the next five years. Therefore, the corporation needed a sustainable and prosperous growth with solid numbers, Müller pointed out.

Patrick von Krienke


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