Defence and security company Saab has acquired another 10 per cent of shares, reaching 25 per cent of stakes, in Akaer, one of the largest companies within development of aeronautical projects in Brazil. In conjunction with the expansion of the Saab-Akaer partnership, Akaer acquires 100 per cent of the shares of the Space and Defense Division (E&D) of the Brazilian optronic company Opto Eletrônica S.A.
Saab and Akaer have been partners since 2008 and the Brazilian company was contracted by Saab to develop parts to the fuselage of the Gripen NG fighter, even before Saab was down-selected for negotiations to re-equip the Brazilian Air Force. Saab’s investment in Akaer began in May 2012, when Saab made a convertible loan in shares, a contribution of resources equivalent to 15 per cent of Akaer.
Saab’s stake in the company is hereby expanded to 25 percent, and Akaer remains independent, and controlled and managed by the Brazilian founder and management. Since 2012, Saab is part of Akaer’s Advisory Board.
“Our partnership with Akaer is long-term and by exchanging knowledge, we want to expand our co-operation. The partnership brings mutual benefits and allows us to take another step in the technology transfer programme and in the development of the Brazilian defence industry. We have come to Brazil to stay and this also means to support our partners”, says Ulf Nilsson, head of Saab business area Aeronautics.
With the support of Saab’s investment in the company, Akaer has acquired assets of the Space and Defense Division (E&D) of the Opto Eletrônica S.A, which is renamed OPTO Space & Defense. With more than 30 years, the Brazilian optronic company has obtained the status of Strategic Defense Company (EED) in 2013.
Akaer’s goal is to ensure that the optronic technologies developed by OPTO over decades are kept under the control of a Strategic Defence Company (EED), so that they can be used in the national space and defence programmes in the coming years. To ensure the continuity of these capabilities, the Space and Defense division of OPTO Space & Defense – that has been under judicial recovery, will keep all its employees and its operations will continue in the same location, in the city of São Carlos (SP), the optronic pole in Brazil. In addition, Akaer will expand its access to international markets and develop dual application products to keep it financially sustainable and to expand its technologies.
“The investment is a part of our growth and diversification strategy and is aligned with the national defense interests”, says Cesar Augusto T. Andrade e Silva, founder and CEO of Akaer.
“I am very pleased with Akaer’s courage and vision, it was able to perceive the technology worth and capabilities developed by OPTO. Our team is motivated to start this new phase with Akaer and Saab”, says Mario Stefani, partner and founder of Opto Eletrônica.
Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions within military defence and civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents around the world. Through innovative, collaborative and pragmatic thinking, Saab develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.
Akaer is one of the largest and leading Brazilian companies in the aerospace engineering market with personnel of over 330 workers. Established in 1992, the company provides innovative and reliable integrated technological solutions to multiple segments such as aerospace, defense, energy, and automotive.
About OPTO Space & Defense
Opto Eletrônica is a technology company specialized in developing optronic products to the medical, industrial, pharmaceutical, aerospace, and defense sectors. Founded in 1985, it has invested over R$200 million to reach its existing optronic technology portfolio. It is the only Brazilian company to have access to strategic technology of this sort.