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Germany decides to buy 25.1% stake in defence supplier Hensoldt - source

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: German defense supplier Hensoldt AG shares start trading after IPO

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's government has decided to buy a 25.1% stake in defence supplier Hensoldt at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Reuters reported on Saturday that the government aimed to purchase the stake from private equity company KKR for 464 million euros ($562 million).

Sources with knowledge of the matter have said the acquisition was intended to ward off a foreign buyer from taking control of Hensoldt, whose high-tech cameras are used in Tornado fighter jets, and which listed its shares in an initial public offering in September.

Hensoldt, a former Airbus unit, also supplies radar systems for Eurofighter jets and periscopes for Leopard tanks. KKR, which bought the company in 2016, retained a stake of more than 60% after the IPO.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; editing by Thomas Seythal)