THE US private equity firm seeking to buy Dorset-based defence supplier Cobham is reportedly considering making concessions to ensure the protection of British national security.

A report for the Government by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) was, on Tuesday, passed to Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, who intervened to halt the acquisition by Advent International mid-way through last month.

She is expected to announce an initial decision on the £4 billion takeover bid any day now, albeit parliamentary business has likely been slowed as negotiations between the parties came to a head over an election date.

Should the report have found that the acquisition raises concerns over national security there may be a formal inquiry, with concessions demanded of Advent, or the move could be blocked entirely.

However, there is much anticipation that she will approve the deal in exchange for promises covering British jobs.

As reported, the former chairman of Cobham, Gordon Page, joined calls for it to stay in British ownership by Lady Nadine Cobham, whose husband Sir Michael Cobham built up the company over 25 years, and former MI6 head Sir John Sawers.

Mr Page – who spent 18 years with the company and received the CBE for services to the industry – said a US private equity firm was “not a suitable owner” for one of the UK’s biggest defence companies.

“A typical private equity model is to load up an acquisition with debt, take very large dividends for itself, then to sell of what remains in a five to eight year period," he said.

But Mr Page cited the hostile takeover of Cadbury by Kraft Foods in 2010, which was followed by the loss of 400 jobs near Bristol despite the buyer’s assurances to government that a plant there would not close.

Now, reportedly, the Cobham family is considering undertaking legal action via a judicial review in an attempt to block the takeover.

Such a move would likely push a final decision on the bid back past the December 12 election date.