Meggitt, the British-based largest provider of wheels and brakes for military aircraft, said it’s ready to make purchases following any decline in the price of aerospace assets that might result from looming U.S. cuts in the defense budget.
Meggitt would be comfortable spending more than $760 million on a transaction, said Stephen Young, the Christchurch, England-based company’s incoming chief executive officer.
“If we could find a suitable acquisition at the right price then we would do that,” said Young, who is currently chief financial officer. “There were some silly prices paid in 2012.”
Meggitt boosted pretax profit 12 percent to $549 million last year, spurred by record output at Airbus SAS and Boeing Co. and the $685 million purchase of Pacific Scientific Aerospace, a maker of generators and electric motors, in 2011. Net debt fell 19 percent to $971 million in 2012, helping to pave the way for future acquisitions.
Meggitt shares have gained about 24 percent this year for a value of $5.59 billion.
“We would tend to buy capabilities and the product would go on both civil and military aircraft,” said Young, who takes over as CEO from Terry Twigger on May 1.
Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems employs about 500 hourly and salaried people in Akron where it does some manufacturing as well as wheel and brake control system repairs and overhauls.
Aircraft Braking Systems was formerly Goodyear Aerospace.
To deal with the military slowdown, Meggitt will shift personnel to satisfy growing commercial demand.
Beacon Journal business writer Jim Mackinnon contributed to this report.