Latecoere welcomes Searchlight Capital’s 26% investment

Activist investor Searchlight Capital Partners (Searchlight) has confirmed its intention to acquire a 26% stake in Latecoere, the French aeronautics company, through the acquisition of existing stakes held by Apollo Capital Management, Monarch Alternative Capital and CVI Partners, at a price of US$4.31 (€3.85) per share. The total investment is valued at US$106.8 million. A number of French companies have been targeted by so-called Activist investors who feel they have been underperforming, including Elliott, which is piling pressure on drinks group Pernod, CIAM is tussling with reinsurer Scor, and Amber Capital has acquired a stake in Lagardere, according to Reuters.

Latecoere cut its earnings outlook last December after start-up costs related to new contracts hit its margins and cash flow, although the company’s latest set of results earlier this month showed signs of a recovery. Latecoere said it welcomed Searchlight’s move and its presence on its board of directors.

“The company welcomes this proposed transaction, Searchlight having shown on this occasion its support for the strategy proposed by management and approved by the board of directors,” Latecoere said in a statement. It is understood that Searchlight will propose three candidates to join the board of directors.

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