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Rheinmetall agrees 1.2 billion euro deal to acquire Spanish explosives maker Expal

Eurosatory international defense and security trade fair in Villepinte

LONDON (Reuters) -German military equipment manufacturer Rheinmetall said on Sunday it has agreed a deal to acquire Spanish explosives and ammunition maker Expal Systems for an enterprise value of 1.2 billion euros ($1.24 billion).

Expal is a subsidiary of Spanish company Maxam, owned by private equity firm Rhone Capital.

The deal, expected to close in 2023, is subject to approval by the competition authorities and other regulatory checks and is likely to face strong scrutiny.

Expal is a provider of weapons to the Spanish army, and the Spanish government in 2020 introduced an authorization process for the acquisition by a foreign company, including EU-based companies, of stakes larger than 10% in companies considered to be strategic.

With the acquisition, Rheinmetall said it aims to bolster its core weapon, ammunition and propellants business.

Rheinmetall said Expal Systems expects sales in 2023 of around 400 million euros.

A spokesperson for Expal confirmed the deal but gave no further comment.

Expal has a workforce of more than 1,000 employees and 11 production sites and is present in over 60 countries.

($1 = 0.9660 euros)

(Reporting by Andres Gonzalez and Tom Sims, editing by Susan Fenton)