Nexter Systems and Krauss‐Maffei Wegmann today signed an agreement to merge into a Franco‐German defence technology group with a 2 billion euro turnover, 9 billion euro order book and over 6,000 employees.
Nexter and its 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.
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.
Besides, this new strategic alignment makes it possible to retain jobs and skills in the heart of theEuropean Union. The two CEOs confirm that the alliance will have no social consequence or impact neither on employment nor on the collective agreements in place.
Whenever the new group would develop any consolidation project, this would be based on the principle of protecting the balance between the two operational companies as well as protecting their related technologies, know‐how and competences, in full compliance with the export regulations.
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 alliance project will be subject to legal and customary regulation approvals. As part of theFrench law for "activity, growth and equality of economic opportunities", article 47 allows for thetransfer of the majority of the capital of GIAT Industries SA and its subsidiaries. The association ofKMW and Nexter should enter into effect at the end of the year.