© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Leonardo symbol and stock graph shown in this illustration was taken, May 3, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
By Federico Maccioni and Gianluca Semeraro
MILAN (Reuters) – Leonardo’s US-based DRS electronics unit has agreed to buy Israel’s RADA Electronic Industries, the Italian defense group said on Tuesday, paving the way for the combined business to list on Nasdaq stock exchange.
Shares of Leonardo jumped as much as 9.7% on the news, making it the top performer in the Milan blue-chip index.
Under the agreement, DRS will acquire a 100% stake in the Israeli manufacturer of tactical radar equipment, with existing RADA shareholders then holding a 19.5% stake in the combined business.
DRS CEO William J. Lynn III told analysts that the all-stock takeover comes at a time when the war in Ukraine and the risk of a drone attack drive demand for the system. modern force protection system.
“We see opportunities for international expansion through our combined global footprint, adding that ongoing conflict” has the potential to push European countries forward, says Lynn. acquire the assets that protect this vital force”.
DRS will pay a premium of about 20% over the last 45 trading days to buy RADA, Leonardo CFO Alessandra Genco added, without providing any other financial details of the deal.
Brokers Bestinver and Banca Akros have valued DRS between $2.1 billion and $2.4 billion, but Leonardo’s chief executive said any figures given around do not include proceeds. from agreed deals to sell DRS’s satellite communications company GES and its stake in sonar company AAC.
At the close of the transaction, which is expected in the fourth quarter of this year and is forecast to have minimal impact on Leonardo’s 2022 guidance, DRS will be listed on the Nasdaq and Tel Aviv stock exchanges, Leonardo added. .
Leonardo postponed DRS’ minority initial public offering (IPO) last year, citing uncertainty about US defense spending and investor concerns about rising interest rates. .
Lynn said he doesn’t expect any legal hurdles to the deal, adding he’s confident it will be welcomed by the US government.
(1 dollar = 0.9467 euros)