A third of the UK government's military research arm Qinetiq is to be sold to the Carlyle Group - although plans for the company may raise conflict of interest issues.
The US private investment group will pay around £170 million ($263 million) for a 33.8% share in Qinetiq, which has patents in areas such as sonar, signal processing, carbon-fibre and liquid crystal displays. The move could mean the end of Qinetiq's decades-long closeness to the UK defence industry.
Carlyle's UKmanaging director Glenn Youngkin says Qinetiq will be encouraged to license its technologies to a "first-call list" of Carlyle-owned companies - none of which is UK-based. Carlyle owns large stakes in aerospace and defence companies around the world, totalling over $2.6 billion in a portfolio worth $13.9 billion overall.
Source: Flight International