COLOGNE, Germany, and LONDON — German tank-maker Rheinmetall plans to buy a majority stake in U.K.-based business BAE Systems, a move that could create a new industry heavyweight in the military vehicles market.

The two companies signed an agreement to create a joint business based at BAE Systems’ Telford, England, facility. If government regulators approve, Rheinmetall would hold 55 percent of the new Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land, or RBSL, with the British firm keeping 45 percent.

BAE’s armored vehicles business in the U.K. has an annual turnover of about … (read more)