24 May 2007
Engineering services company Babcock has bought the Devonport submarine complex in Devon in a £350 million deal that will make it the Royal Navy's largest supplier of support services.
Babcock beat off interest from Carlyle, a private equity giant, to buy Devonport from engineering firms KBR, Weir Group and Balfour Beatty.
The company expects the deal to "deliver significant financial and operational synergies", with cost savings of around £4 million by the end of the financial year. The acquisition is also in line with the government's desire to consolidate the building and support of surface and submarine fleets, it said.
The Plymouth dockyard is the only one in the country that is licensed to maintain, refit and repair the UK's fleet of nuclear submarines.
Babcock already operates the Rosyth and Faslane submarine bases in Scotland. This month, it announced full-year pre-tax profits of £57 million, a 38 per cent rise on the previous 12 months.