Graham Warwick/WASHINGTON DC

The mystery of Rohr's "on-again, off-again" merger talks was resolved in late September when BFGoodrich agreed to acquire the nacelle specialist for $792 million in stock and $424 million in assumed debt.

The deal, expected to be completed early in 1998, will almost double the size of BFGoodrich's Aerospace unit, which accounted for 60% of the company's $2.2 billion sales in 1996.

Rohr had revealed earlier in September that it was in merger negotiations with an unnamed company - now identified as BFGoodrich - and then announced that it had ended the talks and agreed to acquire Tolo, a California-based aerospace component-manufacturer, for $24 million. BFGoodrich is believed to have then improved its offer.

There is almost no overlap between the businesses, and Rohr will be operated as a separate group within the Aerospace unit, alongside the Landing Systems, Sensors & Integration, and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul units.

BFGoodrich says that it discussed the merger with customers Airbus Industrie and Boeing before proceeding. Both of these approved of the deal, says the company.

BFGoodrich has been moving towards supplying complete, integrated systems for some time. It says that the Rohr acquisition will help to increase its system-engineering capabilities.

Rohr was approached as one of several targets on a list drawn up by BFGoodrich chairman David Burner. Chula Vista, California-based Rohr increased sales by 23% in its 1997 fiscal year, to $944.4 million, but posted a $6 million loss after taking an $84.5 million charge to cover losses on the Boeing MD-90 programme.

Source: Flight International