LONDON (Reuters) – The biggest investor in defence company Cobham <COB.L>, Silchester International Investors, said late Thursday that it did not consider a $5 billion offer for the company from private equity firm Advent International as ‘compelling’.
Silchester, which owns 11.8% of Cobham, said the company had a strong balance sheet that could be improved further, possibly through the sale of its Australian business.
The London-based fund also called on Cobham’s board to “seek and respond” to other potential bidders, and suggested the company would have strategic value to a buyer with significant North American interests.
For overseas buyers, the current weakness of the pound provided “an excellent opportunity”, it added.
On Thursday, Advent offered to pay 4 billion pounds for Cobham, known for its pioneering air-to-air refuelling technology. The price of 165 pence a share represented a 50% premium to the three-month average price.
(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Rachel Armstrong)