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Takeover of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc by Private Equity-Backed Cobham - CMA Calls for Comments by the Public

on Thursday, 19 August 2021.

The agreed takeover of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc ('Ultra') by Cobham Group Holdings Ltd ('Cobham') has been referred by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on national security grounds to the Competition and Markets Authority (the 'CMA').

Ultra is a listed UK company which supplies the Royal Navy with devices for submarines. Cobham is a British defence contractor that has been privately owned by a US-based private equity firm since late 2019. The takeover of Ultra, while welcomed by the stock market, has attracted much political comment.

Secretary of State Kwarteng made the referral under the Enterprise Act 2002 concluding that the turnover threshold was likely to be met, rather than the National Security and Investment Act 2021. Under the Enterprise Act, the CMA leads on the issue of whether the merger will substantially lessen competition, while the Business Secretary has the final say on national security. Submissions on both competition and national security concerns are to be addressed to the CMA.

The CMA has called for submissions from the public to be in its hands by 10 September. The address is: jonathan.akinyemi@cma.gov.uk

If you wish to discuss your business making a submission to the CMA in connection with the takeover of Ultra by Cobham, on either competition or national security grounds, please contact Tom Dick in our Corporate Law team on 07968 559217, or complete the form below.

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