Nexter Systems and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann have completed their merger today. Going forward, the merged Franco-German conglomerate is positioned to be one of the largest European defense manufacturer of military land systems.
From now on, the two companies are operated jointly under the umbrella of a holding company under Dutch law with headquarters in Amsterdam. The sole shareholders of each of the two companies have transferred all their shares into the holding company who will operate in the legal form of an N.V.; in return they have each received 50 per cent of the shares in the umbrella company.
The supervisory board of the joint holding company has already met in Amsterdam for its first constitutive meeting. the board comprises seven members and is chaired by the Belgium national, Christian Jourquin. The French owner appointed Jean-Severin Deckers (APE-State Holding Agency) and Bertrand Le Meur (DGA-French defense procurement agency) to the supervisory board; the owners of KMW appointed Dr. Manfred Bode and Axel J. Arendt. Alongside the independent chairman of the supervisory board, both shareholders appointed Antoine Bouvier (CEO of MBDA) and Prof. Dr. Dr. Utz Hellmuth Felcht onto the board as additional independent members. The supervisory board appointed the new CEO of Nexter Systems, Stéphane Mayer, and the chairman of the executive board of KMW, Frank Haun, as CEOs of the holding company.
KMW, Nexter and their owners view this step as decisive for the consolidation of the defence technology industry in Europe. 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.
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 a 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.
According to company sources this new strategic alignment makes it possible to retain jobs and skills in the heart of the European Union. On the signing ceremony in July 29 this year the two CEOs assured that the creation of new group will have no social consequence or impact neither on employment nor on the collective agreements in place. In the future whenever the new group would develop any consolidation project, this 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.