Cassidian, the defence and security division of EADS, says increasing local shareholding in its South African electronic warfare specialist business, Grintek Ewation (GEW), “remains a priority to be addressed in the near future”.
SAAB yesterday announced the sale of its 42.4% share in GEW to Cassidian. The EADS company separately said the buy will take its share in the business to 87.4%. A 12.6% share remains held by the Kunene Finance Company. “The transaction which is valued at a two-digit million euro sum is subject to formal approval from South African competition authorities,” Cassidian added in a statement. SAAB said the transaction will generate it a capital gain before tax of approximately 120 million Swedish Krona (about R131 million).
“Grintek Ewation capitalises on outstanding competencies in the fields of communications electronic warfare” says Bernd Wenzler, CEO of Cassidian Electronics. “These are complementary to our existing skills in governmental intelligence and electronic protection, and therefore give us an excellent basis to grow this business vigorously.”
GEW CE Carel van der Merwe adds the new shareholding structure “takes the long standing relationship with EADS to a new level. The advantage of this closer relationship provides the opportunity for future growth and competitiveness on a global scale”. GEW has a workforce of approximately 300 people and has maintained a close cooperation with Cassidian over a decade. It has more than 40 years experience in the design and production of sophisticated communication monitoring, direction finding, countermeasures, spectrum management and integrated security systems incorporating a wide range of surveillance and monitoring products.
SAAB, in its statement, said the two companies have been partners in Grintek Ewation since December 2001. “Grintek Ewation is a successful company and has been a profitable investment for SAAB, says CE Riaz Saloojee. “Going forward we believe that the continued growth of the company will benefit from having a more coherent ownership structure. Our business relationship with Grintek Ewation will continue.”