Rolls-Royce and Airbus supplier Gardner Aerospace has been sold to a Chinese group for £326m following five months of talks.

Ligeance Investments, a subsidiary of Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources, purchased the firm from Venture capitalist Jon Moulton's Better Capital.

Gardner employs around 1,400 staff, is headquartered in Derby, and has sites in Hull, Basildon, Pershore and Broughton in Flintshire, as well as France, Poland and India.

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Lizhi Wang, vice president of SLMR, told City AM: "The acquisition of Gardner will allow us to serve our customers better – in China and the rest of the world – for decades to come.

"With the management team at Gardner together with our advisers – we intend to further consolidate the global aerospace supply chain through careful strategic acquisitions."

The share sale agreement – estimated to be close to 105p per share – is subject to governmental and regulatory approval.
Completion is expected in May or June.

Better Capital's acquired Gardner Aerospace in February 2010, and the company was founded in the 1950s.