Argos Soditic purchases ejector systems company from MBDA

Argos Soditic has purchased Alkan from MBDA as European defence contractors tighten their belts.

Exocet missile manufacturer MBDA has sold Alkan to Swiss private equity firm Argos Soditic for an undisclosed amount.

An exocet missile: MBDA’s core product.

MBDA said the sale of Alkan, which develops ejection systems for military and civilian aircraft, will help them the concentrate on their core business of missile building.

As their first investment in the sector Argos said their intention was to develop an aeronautical business hub around Alkan.

The buy-out firm sees as an opportunity the assets that are being sold off as the large European contractors concentrate on their core businesses in anticipation of more EU cross-border defence cooperation.  According to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, deal activity in the sector reached €24 billion ($32.4 billion) last year.

Armand Carlier, a former president of aerospace and automobile companies Astrium and Matra, will take over as head of Alkan’s current management team.

Alkan designs and makes complicated mechanical systems and parts for carrying and/or ejecting any removable aircraft accessories such as fuel tanks, weapons, cameras and buoys.

With an annual turnover of €25 million, Alkan has contracts with aircraft manufacturers Airbus, BAE, Bell and Saab as well as with ammunitions suppliers such as EADS, Thales and MBDA.