GKN Pushes Single-Aisle Jet Business After Volvo Unit Purchase

GKN Plc (GKN) said it’s exploring a deeper push into the single-aisle jet market after bolstering its aerospace business this month with the purchase of Volvo AB (VOLVB)’s aircraft-engine unit for 633 million pounds ($987 million).

Winning more work on narrow-body programs is a priority, Marcus Bryson, the chief executive officer of GKN’s aerospace and land systems business, said in an interview at the Farnborough air show near London. GKN isn’t involved in Boeing Co. (BA)’s 737 Max, the manufacturer’s fuel-efficient variant of its bestselling aircraft, a gap Bryson said he wants to fill.

“It’s now more important to us that we look at trying to get some content on those programs,” Bryson said. “The market is set for the next decade.”

GKN gave its aviation business a boost with the purchase this month of the Volvo subsidiary, adding lightweight airframe and engine components to narrow the gap with companies including Safran SA. (SAF) Bryson said the technology additions in recent years should help advance GKN’s position on single-aisle airliners, the most widely used class of commercial jets.

A strategic review following the Volvo purchase will take about 18 months, and GKN will seek to outpace market growth, Bryson says. The company, based in Redditch in the U.K., is also seeking to win business on Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd.’s C919 jetliner, the nation’s first large passenger plane, and reach a deal before the end of the year, he said.

GKN has steadily expanded in commercial and military aviation, most significantly through the 2008 purchase of Airbus’s Filton, U.K. production site. The company is involved in military programs such as the Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT)’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Airbus A400M military transport, as well as models such as Boeing’s 787 and the Airbus A320.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Wall in London at rwall6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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