GE gets EU go-ahead for Smiths purchase

Approval General Electric's $4.8 billion purchase of UK-based Smiths Aerospace should be complete within a few weeks after the deal won European Commission backing. The EC investigated whether the new entity would "restrict access to key components or key technological input for its downstream aircraft engine rivals" and concluded that the deal "would not significantly impede competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it". GE has finished the merger review process and expects to complete the transaction "in the coming weeks".


Northrop Grumman forecasts rising sales

Results Northrop Grumman is forecasting sales of between $31 billion and $32 billion for 2007 after releasing its first-quarter results (see graph). The company's aerospace division saw a 9.6% increase in operating margin to $219 million, despite 5% lower sales, but its shipbuilding business suffered from industrial action.



L-3 double swoop boosts niche technologies

Acquisitions L-3 Communications is expanding its unmanned air vehicle and satellite communications capabilities with the purchase of two US-based companies. UAV specialist Geneva Aerospace joined the L-3 group as part of its specialised products segment earlier this year. Global Communications Solutions will become part of the same segment in the second quarter. "These are two niche acquisitions for L-3," says chief executive Michael Strianese, adding that a key market for Geneva will be the use of unmanned air systems for defence and homeland security applications in commercial airspace.


CAE adds to modelling presence

Purchase Canadian simulator manufacturer CAE is buying MulitGen-Paradigm, a specialist in real-time commercial-off-the-shelf software for simulation, in a C$18 million ($16 million) deal. Subject to US government approval the acquisition will be completed in May. "We want to offer our customers a one-stop shop for their modelling and simulation needs," says Marc Parent, group president for CAE's simulation products and military training and services division. The acquisition will "accelerate our growth" in this market, he adds.


BAE agrees deal to increase systems focus

Sale BAE Systems is moving forward with its strategy of cutting down on components production and expanding its role as a systems developer and integrator with the agreement to sell its inertial products business toF Lehman. The $140 million cash deal is expected to be finalised within two months, subject to regulatory approval.


MB Aerospace completes buyout

Strategy MB Aerospace and MB Faber are to focus on expanding their aftermarket support for components and platforms in late product life, as well as providing platforms with specialist engineering design in their early phases after the completion of a management buyout. The subsidiaries of UK-based engineering contractor Motherwell Bridge have been sold to newly formed MB Aerospace Holdings, which is led by Craig Gallagher and Gordon Kerr, respectively managing director and financial director of MB Aerospace. Lloyds TSB Development Capital has taken a majority stake.

Source: Flight International