European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. agreed to buy Vizada from Apax Partners LLP for $960 million to add satellite-communications services.
Vizada provides communications for the maritime, aerospace and defense industries, bolstering EADS’ Astrium space unit, the Paris and Munich-based company said in a statement today.
EADS, which had 11 billion euros ($15.8 billion) in cash at the half-year mark, has stepped up the pace of acquisitions this year, adding services operations and expanding in North America. Vizada is EADS’ fourth services-related transaction this year, and the company’s biggest deal since buying out BAE Systems Plc’s stake in planemaker Airbus SAS in 2006.
“The growing demand for maritime services is a perfect cornerstone for Astrium to develop its commercial satellite communications,” EADS said in the statement. “This also offers multiple development potential in the various sub sectors such as commercial fishing, leisure and military.”
EADS, based in Munich and Paris, rose as much as 65 cents, or 2.7 percent, to 24.85 euros, and traded at 24.70 euros as of 10:10 a.m. The stock has advanced 42 percent so far this year.
Chief Executive Officer Louis Gallois has identified services and security businesses as two areas to find growth as governments cut spending on military programs. EADS aims to reduce dependence on its Airbus planemaking unit to less than half of total revenue and has been working to expand export sales outside of commercial aircraft as it competes with military contractors that have U.S. government backing.
Vizada also has contracts with the U.S. state, EADS said.
EADS completed the acquisition of Vector Aerospace Corp., based in Canada, on June 30 to expand in aviation repair and overhaul services. On July 27, Airbus offered to buy Danish aviation supplier Satair A/S for about $504 million in cash to add a maintenance and components company. That followed the July 26 accord to acquire U.S.-based Metron Aviation to help build up a new unit focusing on air-traffic management.
UBS AG acted as sole financial adviser to Vizada and Apax France on the transaction, according to UBS. EADS was advised by Messier Maris et Associes, Ernst & Young Group, and on the legal side by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, according o EADS spokesman Rod stone.