Germany to buy 25% stake in defence supplier Hensoldt - sources

FILE PHOTO: Logo of defense supplier Hensoldt AG is pictured during Hensoldt's initial public offering (IPO) at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, September 25, 2020. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

BERLIN/MUNICH (Reuters) - The German government will buy a 25.1% stake in German defence supplier Hensoldt from private equity company KKR for 464 million euros ($562 million), people with knowledge of the matter said on Saturday.

The sources said the purchase is intended to ward off a foreign buyer from taking control of Hensoldt, whose high-tech cameras are used in Tornado fighter jets, and which listed its shares in an initial public offering (IPO) in September.

Hensoldt, a former Airbus unit, also supplies radar systems for Eurofighter jets and periscopes for Leopard and Puma tanks. KKR, which bought the company in 2016, retained a stake of more than 60% after the IPO.

Hensoldt and KKR declined to comment.

($1 = 0.8257 euros)

Reporting by Sabine Siebold and Alexander Huebner; Writing by Tom Sims; Editing by Sabine Wollrab and David Holmes