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Venture capital fund owned by Cobham embarks on flurry of investments

A venture capital fund owned by defence giant Cobham has embarked on a flurry of investments, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. 

C16 Ventures is understood to have been quietly set up last year to buy stakes in fast-growing aerospace and defence companies. 

Cobham is controlled by controversial US private equity firm Advent International. It has so far snapped up stakes in four businesses through C16 Ventures. These include weather satellite group ICEYE and Albedo, which develops ‘low flying satellites that will deliver ultra-high resolution images’. 

Stake: Cobham is controlled by controversial US private equity firm Advent International

Several of the investments have a presence in the UK. 

Advent bought Cobham in a £4billion takeover in 2020. It has since sold off much of the 88-year-old British company. 

The investments are likely to raise concerns that Advent is seeking stakes in more strategic British firms after snapping up another UK defence firm, Ultra Electronics, this year. 

The £2.6billion swoop led to an outcry from MPs and military figures because Ultra produces pioneering technology that detects enemy submarines. 

New laws came into force in January that demand Ministers investigate major investments in 17 important industries. 

A spokesman for Cobham said it has a ‘track record of helping businesses at the forefront of innovation’ and a ‘rich network’ of experts to support companies it backs.