The French defense company Nexter Systems and German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, two of Europe’s leading manufacturers of military land defence systems, signed today a merger agreement that intends to share
their future road ahead. The merger of KMW and Nexter will enter into effect at the end of 2015.
The alliance of the two groups under the umbrella of a joint holding company creates a Franco-German defence technology group with a current annual turnover nearing 2 billion euro, an order book of around 9 billion euro and more than 6,000 employees.
KMW, Nexter and their owners view this step as decisive for the consolidation of the defence technology industry in Europe. The product portfolios of the two companies and their regional presences on the world market complement each other.
The alliance of KMW and Nexter creates group with the momentum and innovative force required to succeed and prosper in international competition. In addition, it offers to its European and NATO customers the opportunity of increased standardisation and interoperability for their defence equipment, with a dependable industrial base.
Nexter S. A. had been in the sole ownership of the French State holding company GIAT Industries S.A.; Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG had been in the sole ownership of Wegmann GmbH & Co. in Kassel. For the unification of the two companies, the sole owners are contributing their shares into a newly incorporated joint holding company based in the Netherlands. They will each receive 50 per cent of the shares of this holding company, which will become the sole shareholder in KMW and Nexter. The governance of the holding company will reflect the equal balance between the two shareholders with a long-term industrial perspective.
The creation of new group will have no social consequence or impact neither on employment nor on the collective agreements in place, the CEOs ofthe two companies confirmed. The new strategic alignment makes it possible to retain jobs and skills in the heart of the European Union.
According to the merger agreement, any consolidation project inthe future would be based on the preservation of the balance between the two operational companies as well as the protection of their related key technologies, know-how and competences, in full compliance with the export regulations.
The alliance project will be subject to legal and customary regulation approvals. As part of the French law for “activity, growth and equality of economic opportunities”, article 47 allows the privatisation of GIAT Industries SA and its subsidiaries.