Babcock to buy Avincis for £920M

Babcock International (BCKIY) has agreed to acquire helicopter transport services firm Avincis from World Helicopters for £920M ($1.5B) plus £705M in debt.

The British defense support and engineering services group intends to fund the deal with a £1.1B rights issue.

"This is a Babcock-type business with big complicated customers, where services are absolutely critical," CEO Peter Rogers tells Reuters. "It's technical, the engineering is pretty sophisticated and it takes us into markets outside the U.K. which are very valuable to us, potentially over the next few years."

World Helicopters is owned by investment funds affiliated with KKR (KKR) and Italian private-equity firm Investindustrial.

KKR believes the deal will give it a money market multiple of almost 2.5 times its original investment, which it made in 2010, Reuters reports. (PR)

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