12 firms chosen for Qinetiq shortlist

The UK government has whittled down the candidates for the purchase of its defence research business to 12, a list largely comprising private equity buyers.

The Ministry of Defence is proceeding with the sale of defence research group Qinetiq, with the shortlist of potential buyers now standing at 12, according to a report in today’s Financial Times.

Qinetiq, which employs 8,000 people across its UK laboratories network in the UK, is valued at around £250m and has been the subject of considerable interest from over 40 acquiring firms, although this figure has been considerably reduced following the procedural checks carried out on prospective bidders by the Ministry of Defence.

The remaining 12, mostly comprising private equity firms, has been sent a 121-page memorandum about Qinetiq, including estimates of its recent financial performance. They are required to submit indicative bids by May 20.

The remaining list of bidders is believed to include Cinven, Charterhouse, BC Partners, Candover, Apax, Barclays Private Equity and Carlyle. The remaining industry bidder is believed to be support services firm Serco.