As announced a year ago, Nexter Systems and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, two of Europe’s leading manufacturers of military land defence systems, intend to share their future road ahead. The corresponding agreement was signed on 29 July 2015 in Paris. The alliance of the two groups under the umbrella of a joint holding company creates a Franco-German defence technology group with a current annual turnover nearing 2 billion euro, an order book of around 9 billion euro and more than 6,000 employees.
KMW, Nexter and their owners view this step as decisive for the consolidation of the defence technology industry in Europe. The product portfolios of the two companies and their regional presences on the world market complement each other. The alliance of KMW and Nexter creates a group with the momentum and innovative force required to succeed and prosper in international competition. In addition, it offers to its European and NATO customers the opportunity of increased standardisation and interoperability for their defence equipment, with a dependable industrial base.
Besides, this new strategic alignment makes it possible to retain jobs and skills in the heart of the European Union. The two CEOs confirm that the creation of new group will have no social consequence or impact neither on employment nor on the collective agreements in place. In the future whenever the new group would develop any consolidation project, this would be based on the preservation of the balance between the two operational companies as well as the protection of their related key technologies, know-how and competences, in full compliance with the export regulations.
Nexter S. A. had been in the sole ownership of the French State holding company GIAT Industries S.A.; Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG had been in the sole ownership of Wegmann GmbH &Co. in Kassel. For the unification of the two companies, the sole owners are contributing their shares into a newly incorporated joint holding company based in the Netherlands. They will each receive 50 per cent of the shares of this holding company, which will become the sole shareholder in KMW and Nexter. The governance of the holding company will reflect the equal balance between the two shareholders with a long-term industrial perspective.
The alliance project will be subject to legal and customary regulation approvals. As part of the French law for "activity, growth and equality of economic opportunities", article 47 allows the privatisation of GIAT Industries SA and its subsidiaries.
The association of KMW and Nexter should enter into effect at the end of the year.