Eurocopter to acquire Vector Aerospace


Eurocopter is to acquire Vector Aerospace for C$625 million (R4.3 billion) in order to become a global player in the aerospace support and services market, and expand its offerings in North America and consolidate its position in Africa.

Helicopter giant Eurocopter Holdings, a subsidiary of EADS, said today it will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Vector Aerospace by way of a take-over bid. Eurocopter will buy the shares for C$13 (R90) each.

In December last year Vector Aerospace publicly announced it was “reviewing strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value,” according to Eurocopter. The Board of Directors unanimously approved Eurocopter’s offer, determining it to be “in the best interests of Vector Aerospace”.

Vector Aerospace, listed on the Canadian stock exchange, provides helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services and also provides rotary and fixed-wing engine repair and overhaul services. Under the deal it will become Eurocopter’s independent MRO services provider and retain its established brand name.

Vector Aerospace employs around 2 500 people and is primarily located in Canada and the United Kingdom, but also has a presence in the United States and South Africa. In the latter, it has facilities at Lanseria International Airport in Johannesburg, opposite those of Eurocopter. Vector Johanessburg could not comment on the move and the Toronto head office was unavailable at the time of writing.

Louis Gallois, CEO of EADS, stated: “This acquisition perfectly fits EADS’ Vision 2020 strategy, increasing services, strengthening the helicopter business, international and more specifically North American exposure while keeping a good balance between military and civil activities. It is also an excellent investment opportunity for Eurocopter, as Vector Aerospace has proven resilient and profitable growth. EADS sees in this acquisition a potential for synergies and value creation for our shareholders.”

Last year Vector Aerospace generated a turnover of C$545 million (R3.7 billion)– roughly the equivalent of a quarter of Eurocopter’s current Support and Services turnover (1.7 billion euros/R16.4 billion). The Canadian company’s debt stood at C$3.1 million (R21 million) on December 31.

According to Lutz Bertling, CEO of Eurocopter Holding, “This opportunity will provide the Eurocopter group with a high-level of expertise…the complementary nature of our worldwide network of subsidiaries and Vector Aerospace’s own network will enable us to develop our activities jointly, both faster and more efficiently.”

Vector Aerospace will benefit from Eurocopter’s global footprint and presence in 25 countries to develop in fast growing markets such as Asia and Latin America.

Declan O’Shea, CEO of Vector Aerospace, stated: “We are delighted to join EADS and Eurocopter. We believe that being part of the Eurocopter group will allow Vector Aerospace and our people to pursue our long history of profitable growth and excellent levels of quality and customer service. Vector Aerospace’s business will be complementary to Eurocopter’s services activities, in serving multi-customer platforms.”