Security fear as Chinese-owned firm bids for military aeroplane parts maker Impcross

The competition watchdog has been ordered to investigate the takeover of a British engineering firm over fears that military equipment could fall into Chinese hands.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has issued an intervention notice to the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate Gardner Aerospace’s takeover of military aeroplane parts maker Impcross on national security grounds.

Gardner Aerospace, which also manufactures plane components, is based in Derby but is owned by the Chinese group Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has issued an intervention notice to the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate Gardner Aerospace's takeover of Impcross

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has issued an intervention notice to the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate Gardner Aerospace’s takeover of Impcross

Leadsom said: ‘I will not hesitate to use my power to protect national security. 

Additionally, I have placed an order on the companies while the transaction is being investigated to prevent them taking actions which might raise national security concerns.’

The CMA will have until March 2 to prepare its report.

Impcross had a turnover of £11.3million in 2018, down from £13.9million in 2017. Last year it lost £153,525.

Leadsom’s intervention comes several months after she waded into the £4bn private equity take-over of Dorset air-to-air refuelling specialist Cobham, also over national security concerns. 

She is considering whether to put conditions on Cobham’s buyer, US private equity giant Advent International.

 

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