Bloomberg News

Parsons to Buy Systems Unit From Cobham for $350 Million

October 19, 2011

(Updates with analyst comment in fourth paragraph, share price in fifth.)

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Parsons Corp. agreed to buy analytic solutions from Cobham Plc for $350 million, adding the missile services provider to its broader engineering business.

Privately held Parsons is acquiring the business on a cash and debt free basis, Cobham said in a statement. The divestment will dilute its earnings by about 5 percent and the proceeds from the sale will be reinvested, the U.K. company said today.

Cobham held an auction for the business after changes to U.S. government tendering rules that “diluted the strategic benefit” of owning it. The move also reflects Chief Executive Officer Andy Stevens’ aim to focus Cobham on markets where the company has scale and a competitive edge with technology.

“It’s about $100 million more than I thought they might get for it,” Royal Bank of Scotland analyst Sandy Morris said by phone.

Shares of the Wimborne, southern England based company climbed 3.4 percent to 178.1 pence as of 9:43 a.m. in London, valuing the business at 1.93 billion pounds ($3 billion).

--Editors: Andrew Noel, Benedikt Kammel

COB LN <Equity>

To contact the reporter on this story: Sabine Pirone in London at spirone@bloomberg.net

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


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