ValueAct is said by Reuters to have at one stage held almost 10 percent of Rolls-Royce entire stock, which currently capitalizes at approximately $6.3 billion.
One of the most famous names in the industry, Rolls-Royce is one of the world’s leading suppliers of aircraft engines.
Currently, it supplies engines to Boeing for its 787 plane, and to Airbus for its A350. These business relationships have been in place for decades.
More recently, the company agreed a partnership with startup company Boom Supersonic, which aims to build the fastest commercial jet ever. Its designs (example in main picture) seem to look like the now-gone Concorde.
Boom Supersonic says it is planning to pair the Rolls-Royce propulsion system with its flagship supersonic passenger aircraft, “Overture”.
The goal of the new agreement is to work together to identify the propulsion system that would complement Boom’s Overture airframe.
The engagement will involve teams from Boom and Rolls-Royce collaborating in engine-airframe matching activities for Boom’s Overture.
The teams will also examine certain key aspects of the propulsion system. The teams will investigate whether an existing engine architecture can be adapted for supersonic flight, while Boom’s internal team continues to develop the airframe configuration.
Blake Scholl, Boom founder and CEO, says: “We’ve had a series of valuable collaborations and co-locations with Rolls-Royce over the past years to lay the groundwork for this next phase of development.
“We look forward to building on the progress and rapport that we’ve already built with our collaboration as we work to refine Overture’s design and bring sustainable supersonic transport to passenger travel.”
Both companies say they recognize that “supersonic passenger travel has to be compatible with a net-zero carbon future”, and that overcoming the technological challenges of supersonic flight provides a unique opportunity to accelerate innovation sustainably.
Simon Carlisle, director of strategy, Rolls-Royce, says: “We share a strong interest in supersonic flight and in sustainability strategies for aviation with Boom.
“We’re now building on our valuable experience in this space as well as our previous work together to further match and refine our engine technology for Boom’s Overture.”