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KKR Completes $1.2B Buy of Airbus Defense Electronics Business

Global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (NYSE: KKR) has concluded its approximately $1.2 billion purchase of the defense electronics business of Airbus Group.

France-based Airbus first announced the transaction in March 2016 as part of the company’s defense and space portfolio reorganization.

Airbus said Tuesday it will maintain a 25.1 percent minority stake in the defense electronics business until the full separation of the unit’s sites to ensure a seamless transition for employees and stakeholders.

The Ottobrunn, Germany-based business currently employs 4,000 employees and offers sensors, integrated systems and support services for defense and security applications.

Johannes Huth, member and head of KKR’s Europe, Middle East and Africa business, said the private-equity firm aims to grow the acquired business into an independent European defense company that will be called Hensoldt.

Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus’ defense and space segment, said the organization now plans to concentrate on “smarter” products and service-based offerings as well as digital innovation programs.

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