Woodward Inc. to merge with Hexcel as large supplier of defense industry

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LOVES PARK - Woodward Inc., one of the Stateline Area's largest employer, is merging with Hexcel in an all-stock deal that would create one of the largest suppliers in the aerospace and defense industry.

The companies say the merger will allow them to create more efficient aircraft that will reduce emissions, a big hurdle for the aerospace industry.

The new company, called Woodward Hexcel, will generate more than $5 billion in annual sales with a market capitalization nearing $14 billion and more than 16,000 employees.

Woodward Hexcel will have manufacturing operations in 14 countries on five continents.

Hexcel shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 0.625 shares of Woodward Inc. common stock for each share of Hexcel Corp. stock that they own. Woodward shareholders will continue to own the same number of shares in the combined company as they do immediately prior to the closing.

Existing Woodward shareholders will own about 55% of the combined company, with Hexcel shareholders owing about 45%.

Nick Stanage, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Hexcel, will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the combined company. Tom Gendron, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Woodward, will serve as Executive Chairman of the combined company until the first anniversary of the closing of the merger, at which time he will retire from the company and will then serve as non-executive Chairman of the combined company until the second anniversary of the merger close. The new company will be headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Woodward, formerly Woodward Governor, was founded in Loves Park, Illinois in 1870 after founder Amos Woodward invented and patented a new water wheel governor. Hexel was founded in 1948 and operates 24 plants.

Woodward Inc. recently landed a U.S. Army contract worth $54 million to repair and refurbish parts used in thousands of military helicopters. The company will inspect and repair over 4,000 hydro-mechanical units for military Blackhawk and Apache helicopters,

The Woodward/Hexel merger is expected to close in the third quarter.

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