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Military specialist Ultra Electronics buys JV partner Sparton

  • Author:Ella Cai
  • Release on:2017-07-14
UK defence specialist Ultra Electronics has announced a planned acquisition of US-based Sparton Corp in a deal worth $235m (£180m).

The two have a long-standing joint venture already under which Ultra and Sparton’s Engineered Components & Products (ECP) business production all US sonobuoys supplied to the US Department of Defence. 

Under the deal, Ultra intends to merge with the ECP business and then sell Sparton’s other business unit, Manufacturing & Design Services (MDS), in the coming months. 

A sonobuoy (pictured) is a small, expendable sonar system that is dropped or ejected from aircraft or ships that are conducting anti-submarine warfare. 

The joint venture has been in place for more than 10 years. 

Rakesh Sharma, chief rxecutive of Ultra, said: “This close relationship has benefitted our major customer, the US DoD, through more effective use of the available engineering budget. 

“Ultra’s acquisition of Sparton “preserves the status quo” for the US Navy and ensures continuity and reliability of supply to it and our other international customers.” 

Joseph Hartnett, interim chief executive of Sparton, said: “The combination of these two enterprises represents a unique opportunity to create a more robust supplier to the US DoD while simultaneously positioning the combined businesses to utilize assets in a much more efficient manner.” 

Aside from its line of sonobuoys, Ultra sells a wide range of military hardware for maritime, land and air-based combat as well as communications, surveillance and security systems and hardware for the nuclear and infrastructure industries. 

The acquisition is subject to relevant anti-trust approvals and the approval of shareholders.