GKN buys Fokker Technologies to strengthen aerospace business

With this purchase, GKN will become the second largest company globally in lightweight aerostructures.

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In major aerospace news, GKN (Redditch, UK) will acquire Fokker Technologies Group (Papendrecht, The Netherlands) from Arle Capital for €706 million ($781 million). This purchase will take GKN into the number two position for lightweight aerostructures and third for electric wiring systems. Fokker designs and manufactures composite structures for the aerospace and defense markets. With almost 5,000 employees, Fokker has operations in Europe, North America and Asia, which will boost GKN’s global exposure. GKN said that Fokker’s position on the Airbus A350 and Lockheed Martin’s F-35 military jet were a good fit with its own positions. 

“Fokker is a great business with strong customer relationships and a recognized commitment to the development and application of innovative technology,” said Kevin Cummings, CEO of GKN Aerospace. “It is an excellent business that fits well with GKN Aerospace. Strategically, this acquisition strengthens GKN Aerospace’s position as a market leader, enhances its global manufacturing footprint and adds new technology. It also increases GKN’s shipset value on key growth programs in both the commercial and military markets."

GKN has more than 50,000 people working in the aerospace, automotive and land systems markets. It has manufacturing facilities in more than 30 countries. The GKN Aerospace division is a major, independent Tier One supplier of complex composite structures for airframes and aeroengines with sales in 2014 of €3.1 billion ($3.43 billion) and a global workforce of more than 12,000 employees. It has a significant participation on most major aircraft programs today, including supplying plane parts to Boeing and Airbus.

Once the acquisition is completed, Fokker, under the current leadership, will become a new operating unit within GKN Aerospace. Fokker’s headquarters will remain in the Netherlands and its brand will continue to promote its strong heritage of technology and customer service. Fokker will also continue with its R&D and manufacturing facilities in the Netherlands as well as with its partnerships with the Dutch government and knowledge institutes.

Completion of the acquisition is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2015 following completion of the information and consultation procedures with the Fokker Works Council and trade unions, ITAR and CFIUS regulatory clearances and anti-trust clearance in the EU and the U.S.

“The combination of GKN Aerospace and Fokker will create a world-leading, innovative multi technology aerospace company with a global footprint,” said Hans Büthker CEO of Fokker Technologies. “GKN Aerospace and Fokker together have an impressive multi-technology portfolio for our customers. Fokker can benefit greatly from the scale, innovation and financial power of GKN. The innovation and technology driven culture in this larger company will provide broader and new opportunities for our employees who will be participating in some of the world’s largest and most challenging aerospace projects.”