Security and defence company Saab has sold its stake – approximately 3.3 per cent – in Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company Limited to Reliance Defence Systems, which had made a tender offer on outstanding shares in Pipavav.

“It is natural to act on the inquiry we got from Reliance Defence Systems to acquire our stake in Pipavav. We believe the cooperation between Saab and Pipavav now has the potential to get even better with the new owner,” Jan Widerström, head of Saab India, said in a statement.

Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company is now part of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group.

“Saab works actively in support of India’s strategy to increase its national ability to produce defence material. Local partnerships are being fostered to meet the needs of the customer and the market conditions,” Widerström added.

Saab said the transaction would positively affect Saab’s net financial income and cash flow position.

On November 1, 2012, Saab had said it made an investment in Pipavav. The company said the investment made a new partnership possible and also provided a good base for future businesses. With a new strong owner in Pipavav, Saab said it is looking forward to developing the potential even further.

Gripen plans

Incidentally, Saab has offered to manufacture its Gripen fighter aircraft in India, with technology transfer to domestic firms, in order to be included in the Indian Air Force’s modernisation plan. The company is in the midst of engaging with Indian firms to take this ahead.

Recently, Saab announced the appointment of Erik Smith as President and CEO for Saab Defense and Security, USA, effective January 1, 2016. Smith most recently served as Vice-President and General Manager of the Saab Defense and Security USA’s Sensor Systems division, where he led the development and execution of Saab’s US business strategy for military surveillance sensor systems.