Cobham Buys S-Tec

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British-owned Cobham PLC, which owns Chelton, Comant, Artex Aircraft Supplies and Wulfsberg Electronics, among other things, has purchased autopilot maker S-Tec from Meggitt PLC, also from Britain, for $38 million. The deal was concluded last week and the capacity that S-Tec adds to Cobham's aviation portfolio were front and center in the announcement. "The close association with these established leaders, combined with the support of Cobham, will enable S-TEC to explore new opportunities to further expand our markets for new-generation digital autopilot and flight control systems," said S-Tec President Mel Hilderbrand.

Meggitt acquired S-Tec in 2000 and the company has added prominent industry customers like Cirrus, Eclipse and Mooney to its portfolio. However Meggitt CEO Terry Twigger said the autopilot maker is "no longer considered core to Meggitt's current operations." S-Tec will remain in Mineral Wells, Texas where it employs 180 people.