UK blocks aerospace takeover by US investor over security

LONDON — The British government is halting the takeover of a U.K. aerospace company by a U.S. private equity firm to assess whether it affects national security.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said Wednesday that the competition watchdog would look into the security implications of the sale of Cobham to Advent International.

Leadsom says the Competition and Markets Authority will have until Oct. 29 to report to her on the impact of the 4 billion-pound ($5 billion) acquisition, which had been approved by Cobham shareholders this week.

Leadsom says the government wants to "support private sector innovation whilst safeguarding the public interest."

Cobham employs around 10,000 people, including 1,700 in Britain, and is best known for its air-to-air refueling technology.

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