GKN Aerospace is set to create a $1.4 billion engine components business when it completes its acquisition of Volvo Aero, announced last week. The UK-based group is to pay approximately $981 million for Volvo Aero, which already supplies components for all major aircraft engine manufacturers.
According to GKN Aerospace CEO Marcus Bryson, Volvo’s strength in designing, engineering and manufacturing metallic components for engines will complement GKN’s expertise in making composite structures. “We see this as a real strategic asset because they have a very high level of engineering capability in aero engines, partly due to their role in developing the Saab Gripen engine,” he told AIN. “We have had very strong feedback from Volvo’s customers.”
Volvo tends to work on components for the back end of engines, while GKN focused on the front end. It has substantial work on both the new General Electric GEnx and Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan powerplant families.
Last week Volvo Aero delivered its first components for the PurePower PW1100G to Pratt & Whitney in the U.S. Those parts will be installed on the first-engine-to-test, which is scheduled to run later this year. The engine is slated for a 2015 entry into service on the new Airbus A320neo narrowbodied airliners.
Bryson revealed that GKN has been targeting a takeover of Volvo, which has 3,000 employees in Sweden, Norway and the U.S., for about five years. Agreement over the acquisition was reached after GKN and Swedish automaker Volvo had previously discussed a possible joint venture in aero engines. Bryson said GKN will not retain the Volvo name and the new unit’s corporate identity and management structure will be settled once the deal has passed regulatory approval.