British engineering company GKN Plc (LON:GKN) have agreed to buy Dutch aerospace supplier Fokker Technologies Group BV for 706 million euros, in order to improve access to growing Asian markets and strengthen their position in the aerospace industry.

GKN Aerospace is one of the world’s largest suppliers of parts for the aviation industry, with 40 bases internationally; the deal will bolster links to the Airbus A350 and Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 programs.

Nigel Stein, chief executive, said: “Fokker is an excellent strategic and cultural fit which supports our growth strategy. This transaction will increase our shipset value on key growth programmes in both the commercial and military markets.

“Fokker’s sizable China operations also help boost GKN aerospace’s activity in this important region. Fokker is a great business with a strong brand and has significant technology heritage.”

GKN recently reported half-year results that showed group sales edged up 1pc to £3.6bn, while pre-tax profits slipped 5pc to £212m.

The announcement comes just after the company confirmed that 1 in 4 jobs at its Yeovil base will be cut by the end of the year, with the company blaming a drop in the number of orders for the need to reduce its Somerset workforce of 350 staff.

GKN are currently trading up 6.68%.

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