Chemring Names Bowers CFO Amid Strategic Business Review

Chemring Group Plc appointed Steve Bowers to become chief financial officer as the defense-equipment maker reviews plans after cutting earnings forecasts and failing to complete takeover talks with Carlyle Group LP.

Chemring rose to a two-month high after saying that Bowers, formerly CFO at Umeco Plc, will take over from acting finance director Nigel Young on Jan. 7. The Fareham, England-based maker of flares to protect military aircraft from missiles also named Jim Devine as human resources director and member of the executive committee.

Mark Papworth, who became Chemring chief executive officer Nov. 5 following the departure of David Price, is undertaking a strategic review after private-equity firm Carlyle decided two months ago against bidding for the manufacturer. The company, which reduced earnings targets twice for the year through October 2012, has promised to publish an initial turnaround plan this month.

The appointment of Bowers “is another important step in strengthening our executive management team, as we commit to rebuilding operational and financial performance and delivering improved returns for shareholders,” Chairman Peter Hickson said in today’s statement.

Chemring rose as much as 5.2 percent to 250.7 pence, the highest intraday price since Nov. 8, and was trading up 4.9 percent at 8:27 a.m. in London. That pared the stock’s 12-month decline to 39 percent.

Bowers, like CEO Papworth, joins Chemring with a background in reshaping a business through acquisitions and sales of underperforming units. “He was integrally involved in the disposal process of Umeco’s supply-chain division,” Chemring said.

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