Northrop Grumman Australia has signed a deal to purchase Australia-based Qantas Defence Services Pty Limited (QDS) for $80 million, as the military contractor aims to expand its presence beyond the United States.
According to Qantas, QDS will be renamed to reflect the revised ownership structure of the business.
“QDS complements our current integrated logistics and modernization efforts and advances our international strategy,” said Northrop Grumman Chairman Wes Bush in a statement.
“We expect QDS will provide an important platform for international growth in our key focus areas of unmanned, C4ISR, cyber, and logistics and modernization.”
Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce is pleased with the acquisition as it is in line with company’s efforts to invest in local operations. Qantas Airways is the largest carrier in Australia.
“We have made it clear that in line with the Qantas Group’s strategy we would explore the sale of non-core assets where it makes commercial sense – just as we’ve done with the sale of our catering facilities at Riverside and Cairns as well as our share in express freight and logistics firm StarTrack,” said Mr. Joyce.
“Qantas and Northrop Grumman will work closely over the coming months to work towards satisfaction of a number of conditions related to the separation of QDS from Qantas, which must be met to facilitate completion of the sale.”
QDS employs more than 300 workers in facilities across Australia, provides support and maintenance for the Royal Australian Air Force, the Australian Government’s VIP, and engine services for the Orion P-3 and Hawk Lead-in Fighter. QDS also provides engineering consultancy services to the Royal Australian Navy and other maritime customers.
The Indonesia Government has also recently awarded QDS a contract for heavy maintenance and crew training services of the C-130H aircraft.
“Qantas has a long and proud history of supporting the Australian Government and Australian Defence Force in times of need,” said Mr. Joyce.
“We are honoured to have been given such an important responsibility, and will continue this important role for Australia.”
The proceeds from this sale will be realised in FY 2013/14.