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BUSINESS NEWS

23 Oct 07. France’s Thales sees merger with Safran as ‘making sense’. A tie-up between Thales and Sagem Defense Securite, the defense and security unit of France’s Safran, “would make sense”, Thales chairman Denis Ranque said Monday in Spain. “It would make sense, it is involved in the same sectors, but as far as I know it is not for sale,” he told reporters in Madrid when asked if his firm would be interested in this unit of aerospace and electronics group Safran

Ranque would not comment on press reports of a possible merger between Thales and Safran. Earlier Monday French daily La Tribune that Thales and Safran were preparing to restart merger plans. “Thales is now focused on three areas (defence, aerospace and security systems) and has divested other businesses,” said Ranque, adding the firm was “looking at various possibilities to reinforce any of these three branches.” A merger between Thales and Safran would create the world’s second largest aerospace equipment supplier after General Electric with sales of €24bn ($34bn), according to French media. But Sagen has several units which are involved in areas such as the manufacture of airplane motors which do not neatly match Thales’ activities. Ranque, in Spain for an event to mark the firm’s 40 years in the country, said his firm could grow organically.
“We still have money,” he added.
Comment: This rumour has been flying around for some time and seems to be coming to a possible result. The merger of the two would solve Safran’s disastrous decision to merge SNECMA with SAGEM, a move urged by the French Government. A merger would create a strong position in optics with Sagem and Thales having strong product links, soldier systems, where Sagem has the French military contract and Thales is struggling with FIST and military radio systems and C4I in general. Perhaps SNECMA would end up with Fiat or Volvo’s engine units where its very successful CFM-56 engine developed with GE would complement any range. Or perhaps GE may bid for the unit to develop its European footprint to match Rolls-Royce? (Source: Google)

25 Oct 07. Two of Chemring Group’s key energetics businesses are to merge on 1 November 2007. Nobel Energetics and Leafield Engineering will become Chemring Energetics UK Limited. Nobel Energetics specialises in the design and manufacture of energetic materials, rocket motors, actuated devices and demolition stores. It employs 200 people at its site in Ayrshire, Scotland and was acquired by Chemring Group in September 2005. Leafield Engineering develops and manufactures electro-mechanical and pyro-mechanical sub-systems. It joined the Group in February 2006 and employs over 70 people at its facility in Corsham, Wiltshire. Both are successful companies and have excellent core competencies in energetic material usage. The merger is part of the business realignment programme being undertaken by Chemring Group. That programme is designed to enhance capability and future growth across the Group and will be of considerable benefit to the customer. The new company will provide a single UK source for engineering, ballistic and chemical skills, and provide the critical mass of expertise needed to keep strategic energetic product manufacture in the UK.

25 Oct 07. FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) today announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2007. Revenue was $191.1m, up 43% compared to third quarter 2006 revenue of $133.2m. Operating income for the quarter was $51.8m, up 53% from $34.0m in the third quarter of 2006. Net income for the quarter was $34.8m, or $0.45 per diluted share, compared with net income of $27.1m, or $0.36 per diluted share, in the third quarter a year ago. Year-to-date revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2007 was $536.8m, up 38% compared to $389.1m for the first nine months of 2006. Operating income for the first nine months of 2007 was $129.0m, up 58% from $81.9m during the first nine months

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