Woodward to buy GE aviation business

Woodward Inc. has signed a purchase agreement with GE Aviation Systems to acquire the assets of its hydraulic thrust reverser actuation systems business, the company announced Friday.

Fort Collins-based Woodward will buy the GE business, located in Duarte, Calif., for $200 million in cash. Woodward and GE also reached a preferred supplier agreement for thrust reverser actuation systems.

The transaction was expected to close Friday.

“The acquisition of the Duarte business by Woodward’s aerospace segment provides us with expanded motion-control technologies and platforms, more specifically thrust reverser actuation systems,” Woodward CEO Tom Gendron said in a statement.

The GE business, which employs about 350 people, serves customers such as Boeing, GE, Safran and the U.S. government. Its products are used primarily on commercial aircraft such as the Boeing 737, 747 and 777, and Airbus A320.

The GE business’ fiscal 2013 sales could reach about $150 million, Woodward said. Woodward will integrate the business into its aerospace segment.

Woodward said it had committed financing and available cash sufficient to fund the payment of the purchase price and also provide short-term liquidity after closing. Woodward currently has $400 million in revolving credit.

The acquisition is expected to add to Woodward’s earnings per share for fiscal 2013.

Woodward shares declined less than 1 percent to $37.41 on the NASDAQ on Friday morning.

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