Woodward, Inc and Hexcel Corporation have announced a definitive agreement to combine in an all-stock merger of equals to create a premier integrated systems provider serving the aerospace and industrial sectors.
In a deal worth over $6 billion the companies said existing Woodward shareholders will own approximately 55% and existing Hexcel shareholders will own approximately 45% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis. In connection with the transaction, Woodward is increasing its quarterly cash dividend to $0.28 a share. The merger is expected to be tax-free for US federal income tax purposes.
The combined company, to be named Woodward Hexcel and headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado , will be among the top independent aerospace and defence suppliers globally by revenue. It will have more than 16,000 employees, manufacturing operations in 14 countries on five continents, and a diversified customer base across multiple markets. For each company’s respective fiscal year 2019 on a pro forma basis, the combined company is expected to generate net revenues of approximately $5.3 billion and EBITDA of $1.1 billion, or a 21% EBITDA margin.
Nick Stanage, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Hexcel, will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the combined company. Tom Gendron, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Woodward, will serve as Executive Chairman of the combined company until the first anniversary of the closing of the merger, at which time Mr. Gendron intends to retire from the company and will then serve as non-executive Chairman of the combined company until the second anniversary of the merger close. At that point, Mr. Stanage will assume the role of Chairman of the Board in addition to his CEO responsibilities. The combined company’s Board of Directors will have 10 members, consisting of five directors from each company, including Mr. Gendron and Mr. Stanage.
The transaction is subject to the approval of the shareholders of both Woodward and Hexcel, as well as other customary closing conditions, including required regulatory approvals. The parties expect the merger to close in the third calendar quarter of 2020, subject to satisfaction of these conditions.