Jan. 20 (UPI) -- France-based defense manufacturer Safran Electronics and Defense will acquire Zodiac Aerospace for $9 billion, the companies announced in a joint statement.
Company officials say the deal will create the world's third-largest aircraft equipment provider, which will have a presence in over 60 countries. According to Safran, the purchase is consistent with its strategy to focus on its aerospace and defense ventures.
"The acquisition of Zodiac Aerospace represents a unique opportunity at this point in Safran's development, just a few months after initiating the refocus of the group on our core activities of aerospace and defense," Safran CEO Philippe Petitcolin said in a press release. "Our industrial expertise will also accelerate the return to their historical levels of profitability in the seats and cabin activities."
By purchasing Zodiac Aerospace, Safran gains access to the company's assets, which include seats, cabin interiors, power distribution, and fuel equipment. Safran says it will use its new capabilities to push for the development of "more electrical aircraft".
"The combination with Safran will lead to the creation of a world leader, with a high technological know-how, able to shape the future of aerospace," Zodiac Aerospace management board chairman Olivier Zarrouati added.
The pending merger will now be subject to approval from regulatory agencies, and is expected to be finalized by early 2018.