D.he federal government is keeping a strategic stake in the Bavarian defense electronics group Hensoldt open. Until the end of the year, the federal government has the right to buy up to 25.1 percent of the shares from the Hensoldt majority shareholder KKR for 600 million euros. “Whether we exercise this right is currently being examined,” said a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Defense on Tuesday. The price would be about twice as high as the price at which the other shareholders received the shares when Hensoldt went public last week. The share price on Tuesday was 11.30 euros, still below the issue price of 12.00 euros.
Because of the great importance of Hensoldt for the Bundeswehr, the federal government is asserting a strategic interest in the company from Taufkirchen near Munich. When the former Airbus subsidiary was sold, the government had secured influence over Hensoldt in a “security agreement” with a kind of “golden share”. The agreement had been modified before the IPO. If the federal government lets the deadline pass, it has to wait until the American financial investor KKR has reduced its stake to 25.1 percent. Then he has a right of first refusal for the remaining shares at the then applicable stock exchange price.
The ministry spokeswoman said that the federal government could, in coordination with KKR, also send a representative to Hensoldt’s supervisory board. Whether this will happen and who will be sent to the body is currently also being examined.