On 14 November 2022, Rheinmetall announced that they had concluded a purchase contract for Spanish ammunition and mortar manufacturer Expal Systems. The acquisition contract covered the entirety of Expal’s share capital, presently held by parent company MaxamCorp Holding SL, in turn owned by private equity firm Rhone Capital. The deal is valued at EUR 1.2 Bn (USD 1.24 Bn), and Rheinmetall is aiming to complete the acquisition by summer 2023.
Rheinmetall stated that the primary goals of the acquisition were to bolster its core weapon, ammunition and propellant business, increase its spare production capacity and an provide an expanded product portfolio. The company explained that at present the additional production capacity for propellants and charges was of “strategic importance” to Rheinmetall, since production of these in Europe is presently subject to bottlenecks. The company stated that it aims to keep Expal’s existing operational locations in Spain and the USA open.
Although the deal has been concluded at the company level, it may still face legal obstacles from the Spanish government, which on 18 March 2020 approved ‘Royal Decree-Law 8/2020’. The law prohibits the foreign (including EU member states) acquisition of more than 10% stakes in companies related to public order, public security, or public health without authorisation from the Spanish government.