Rafael said to be on verge of acquiring German drone manufacturer

The Bavarian company is an important supplier of reconnaissance drones for the German Army

A Luna drone made by EMT. Photo: Bundeswehr/Andrea Bienert

The German media has reported that Israel's Rafael may be on the verge of acquiring Bavarian drone producer EMT that is in the process of bankruptcy. In response to a question from a Green party lawmaker, the parliamentary state secretary in the Defense Ministry, Thomas Silberhorn, said that Rafael informed Germany's defense procurement agency BAAINBw that they had an exclusive agreement with the current general representative in the insolvency proceedings to take over the company.

According to press reports, several investors had shown interest in a takeover of EMT, with Rafael having submitted the best offer. The Bavarian company is an important supplier of reconnaissance drones for the German Army. Apparently, due to the economic difficulties, there have recently been delays in the delivery of the HUSAR drone system, which is supposed to be supplied to NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in 2023. The insolvent EMT has been self-administered since December 2020. At the time, the company cited liquidity problems as a reason for filing for bankruptcy following an embargo imposed on a customer. For this reason, there were no deliveries, which led to significant revenue shortfalls. In addition, there have recently been delays in the completion of order documentation. According to the company, negotiations with the customer, procurement agency BAAINBw, failed. This made the step into self-administration necessary.

The Münchner Merkur website reported that an insolvency plan is now being coordinated with Rafael, which has yet to be approved by a meeting of creditors. EMT Managing Director Thomas Heinze estimated that the sale to Rafael could prevent the firing of workers and the closing of factories.

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