Armored vehicle maker Arquus in hands of Belgian John Cockerill

Belgian industrial group John Cockerill has completed the acquisition of Arquus, a French manufacturer of armored vehicles. Arquus, formerly Renault Trucks Defense, previously belonged to Swedish bus and truck maker Volvo Group.

The deal reportedly involves about 300 million euros. Arquus has 1,200 employees who make armored vehicles for the armies of some 60 countries and recorded sales of 600 million euros last year.

SFPIM involved

Arquus is the leading supplier of ground vehicles for the French army and the second-largest French producer of armored vehicles. At the same time, the defense branch of Walloon industrial conglomerate John Cockerill makes weapon systems.

That branch, John Cockerill Defense, aims to reach 1 billion euros in sales and 2,000 employees by 2026. It has a global presence and major operational sites in Belgium, France, Italy, India, and Saudi Arabia. This will include developing a range of armored vehicles equipped with light artillery turrets.

In the run-up to the acquisition, the Belgian government, through investment company SFPIM, and the French government each took a 10% stake in John Cockerill Defense.


In 2018, the Belgian army bought another 382 Griffons armored cars from Arquus. The John Cockerill group, based in Seraing, is also active in mechanical engineering, hydrogen, and energy. It has over 6,000 employees and achieved sales of 1.2 billion euros in 2023.

At the beginning of June, it was also announced that the federal and Walloon governments had invested in John Cockerill’s hydrogen branch. It is not known how much money they invested. In total, John Cockerill Hydrogen raised 230 million euros from various investors.

With the extra money, John Cockerill Hydrogen plans to expand its alkaline-electrolyzer production capacity through mega plants in strategic locations. John Cockerill Hydrogen claims to be at the world’s forefront. It has already supplied 1,300 electrolyzers worldwide.


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