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Norwegian Kongsberg to buy stake in Finnish-owned Patria

The Finnish state has agreed to sell 49.9 percent of shares in its defence equipment firm Patria to Norwegian defence company Kongsberg Gruppen for 272 million euros in cash. Finland will retain its remaining 50.1 percent stake in the company.

Patrian Nemo-kranaatinheitinjärjestelmä. Image: Patria

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä said on Thursday that the sale of just under half of the state-owned defence company Patria was a good step in its business development.

"We are very pleased with Kongsberg's commitment to Patria," Sipilä said. "[Kongsberg] is a financially-strong, listed firm which is half-owned by the Norwegian state."

Sipilä said that the sale would also improve Patria's position in international markets.

Finland bought the French firm Airbus' shares of Patria about a year ago and has been looking for a new minority shareholder since.

Kongsberg: Patria to be "leading defence supplier in Nordics"

In a press release issued Thursday, Kongsberg said "Patria is Finland’s leading defence supplier and owns 50 percent of the shares in the Norwegian company Nammo. The partnership will be a leading defense supplier in the Nordics, and a considerable supplier on the European defence market, with total gross revenues of [1.42 billion euros] in 2015."

Kongsberg's CEO Walter Qvam said that the partnership of Kongsberg, Patria and Nammo was a proactive step.

"We’re taking a proactive step to meet the ongoing consolidation in the defence industry. This transaction entails a significant strengthening of our Nordic and international position, it provides strengthened profitability and growth opportunities, and is an important step in the strategy for our defence businesses," Qvam said.

Patria has around 2,800 employees and revenues of some 428 million euros in 2015.

According to Kongsberg, following approval from regulation authorities, completion of the deal is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2016.

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