ArianeGroup has sold its 63% majority stake in CILAS to MBDA and Safran. CILAS is a French technology company specialized in laser products and optical solutions for military and civil applications. MBDA and Safran have carried out the acquisition through HMS Laser, an equally-owned company created for this purpose.  Gimar & Co has acted as financial advisor to ArianeGroup for the transaction.

“CILAS has found with MBDA and Safran a majority shareholder willing to support its growth and to allow it to continue its business model of specialized equipment supplier offering cross-functional technologies”, comments Hubert Chevrinais, Managing Director of Gimar & Co.

Press release : MBDA and Safran take a majority stake in CILAS 

Paris, November 2, 2022 

Safran Electronics & Defense and MBDA have completed the acquisition of ArianeGroup’s 63%  majority stake in CILAS, a French company specialized in lasers for military applications. 

The acquisition was carried out through a joint company created for the purpose called HMS Laser,  equally owned by Safran Electronics & Defense and MBDA. 

Founded in 1966, CILAS designs, develops, produces and sells laser products and optical solutions  for military and civil applications. 

Safran Electronics & Defense and MBDA will support the growth of CILAS, as well as the  development and production of solutions designed to support France’s sovereignty and strategic  independence, while also facilitating the company’s European positioning and export opportunities. 

CILAS is a specialized equipment supplier offering cross-functional technologies. It will continue to  apply a business model based on its position as a supplier of products and technologies to all  domestic and international customers. 

“CILAS is the French laser technology champion,” said Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA. “Today’s  weapon systems increasingly call on latest-generation lasers, and this trend is likely to continue. By  combining the complementary strengths of CILAS and MBDA, we will meet the upcoming challenges  for France and Europe of achieving operational superiority and strategic independence.” 

Martin Sion, CEO of Safran Electronics & Defense, added, “CILAS is a long-standing partner to our  company. Our complementary optronics capabilities will enable us to develop and refine our  solutions involving laser designation, while also investigating the possibilities of optical  communications for both terrestrial and space applications. We can now team up with CILAS and  our partner MBDA to offer sovereignty solutions that integrate power lasers, by calling on our  respective areas of expertise.” 

MBDA is the only European group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that  correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces (land, sea and  air). With a significant presence in five European countries and within the USA, in 2021 MBDA achieved  revenue of 4.2 billion euro with an order book of 17.8 billion euro. In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile  systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in  development. 

MBDA is jointly owned by Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%), and Leonardo (25%).
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Safran is an international high-technology group operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors),  defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air  transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with  76,800 employees and sales of 15.3 billion euros in 2021, and holds, alone or in partnership, world or European  leadership positions in its core markets. Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange and is part of  the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices. 

Safran Electronics & Defense is an international company with 10,000 employees, built on proven expertise  in technologies that underpin sovereignty. By combining human and artificial intelligence, the company  develops the products and services that empower aerospace and defense players to observe, decide and  guide. Safran Electronics & Defense also supports fellow Safran companies by sharing its state-of-the-art  electronics skills and expertise. 

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