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Cobham Holders Poised to Approve $5 Billion Advent Takeover

David Hellier, Sarah Syed and Dinesh Nair
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Cobham Holders Poised to Approve $5 Billion Advent Takeover

(Bloomberg) -- Cobham Plc shareholders are poised to approve Advent International’s proposed 4 billion-pound ($5 billion) takeover of the U.K. defense and aerospace company, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The private equity firm has received acceptances from more than 75% of shareholders who have voted so far, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The preliminary tally is based on proxy votes sent in by the Sept. 12 deadline, according to the people.

Advent won over Cobham shareholders after influential proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. and Glass Lewis & Co. recommended investors vote in favor of the deal. The takeover had faced opposition from some funds including Silchester International Investors LLP, which owns 12% of Cobham and said last month the company could fetch a higher price than what Advent was offering.

The total percentage of shareholders in favor of the deal will only be known after a shareholder vote Sept. 16. Most major fund managers send in their votes ahead of time by proxy, though the formal shareholder meeting will also take into account individual investors who cast their votes in person.

Representatives for Advent and Cobham declined to comment.

Shares of Cobham rose 2.2% to 159.75 pence at the close Friday in London. That is 3.2% below Advent’s offer of 165 pence per share in cash.

The transaction requires regulatory approvals in the U.S., the European Union, U.K., Australia, France and Finland, Advent said in July when the deal was announced. The private equity firm expects to close the acquisition by the end of the year.

Cobham traces its roots to the 1930s and has about 11,500 employees globally. The firm makes in-flight refueling systems, communications gear and specialized equipment for aircraft and ships. Customers include Airbus and Boeing Co.

To contact the reporters on this story: David Hellier in London at dhellier@bloomberg.net;Sarah Syed in London at ssyed35@bloomberg.net;Dinesh Nair in London at dnair5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Aaron Kirchfeld at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net, Ben Scent, Amy Thomson

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