LONDON (AP) -- Defense contractor BAE Systems PLC said Friday it has sold a 10.25 percent stake in Swedish defense company Saab AB for 1.066 billion kronor ($149 million) as part of an ongoing divestment process.
BAE said the sale to holding company Investor AB of Stockholm represented half of its 20.5 percent stake in Saab, maker of the Gripen fighter aircraft. BAE said it intended to sell the remainder of the shares through a market placing "in due course."
Following the transaction, Investor will holds shares representing 30 percent of the capital and 39.5 percent of the voting rights in Saab.
Saab and BAE formed a 50-50 joint venture in 1995 to develop the export business for the Gripen fighter. Following Saab's share flotation in 1998, BAE held a 35 percent stake in it; it sold 15 percent in 2005.
"Through the transaction, we have clarified the ownership structure in Saab AB. BAE Systems has been a good partner for Saab AB, but over time there has been less alignment of interests and the emergence of some overlapping businesses, while Saab AB has built a strong internal export capability," said Boerje Ekholm, Investor's CEO.