Italian defence conglomerate Leonardo announced on April 24th that it agreed with Square Lux Holding II S.à r.l. This is a portfolio company controlled by funds advised by Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts & Co. L.P. The Italian company will purchase a 25.1% stake in Hensoldt AG for approx. € 606 million or € 23 per share.
As a result of the stake purchase, Leonardo will become a shareholder of Hensoldt alongside Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), which is 80% owned by the Federal Republic of Germany. KfW agreed to acquire a 25.1% stake in Hensoldt in March 2021. By purchasing the stake from the U.S. investment fund KKR, Leonardo will become the joint largest shareholder in the company alongside German state-controlled bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW).
With the investment in Hensoldt, Leonardo will establish a strategic long term presence in the fast-growing German defence market.
Today, Leonardo and Hensoldt have a well-established relationship, including collaboration on the Eurofighter Typhoon program as independent operators within the consortium model.
The closing of the transaction remains subject to customary conditions, including regulatory clearances in Germany and a selected number of countries. It is expected to take place in the second half of 2021.
Before the announcement, Hensoldt said KKR had been in talks for the sale of the stake with Thales, Indra and Saab, as well as Leonardo.