27 Feb 08. France has clearly stated its concerns about the growing investment appetite of sovereign wealth funds from resource-rich emerging countries for European industrial and financial companies. But Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, also seems to be behaving these days as the chairman of a sovereign wealth fund. The French government on Wednesday acquired a 2.85 per cent stake in STMicroelectronics from Italy’s Finmeccanica to maintain the balance between French and Italian shareholders in the cross-border semiconductor venture. STMicro shares have been in the doldrums lately but that has little to do with the industrial fundamentals of the company. If anything, the group remains a rare cross-border success in which two former financially crippled state-owned semiconductor ventures have combined to become one of the world leaders in the sector. But the STMicro deal is only the latest example of Mr Sarkozy’s increasingly interventionist industrial policy. Now there is growing speculation that he will intervene directly in the restructuring saga at Alcatel-Lucent, the Franco-US telecoms equipment manufacturer that has failed dismally to live up to the promises of its 2006 merger. Rather than creating a new world champion, the combination has simply put together two wounded and limping companies. (Source: FT.com)
29 Feb 08. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Europe-based subsidiary, Park Air Systems, achieved significant successes in 2007 with the delivery of navigation equipment, including instrument landing (ILS) and satellite landing systems (SLS), to a total of 29 countries. Northrop Grumman Park Air Systems’ NORMARC ILS is now being used at airports in new markets such as Cairo, Egypt, and system installation will commence this month in Brasilia, Brazil; Astana, Kazakhstan; and Doha, Qatar. In April 2007, the SLS, the world’s first SCAT-I system, was installed in Brønnøysund, Norway. In its existing markets, the company increased its market share dramatically in the Middle East region and was awarded a contract by Dubai Civil Aviation, for the installation of CAT III ILS at the new Dubai World Central Airport. The navigation equipment is part of a complete ATC system contract that also includes Northrop Grumman Park Air Systems’ surveillance and communication equipment. Delivery to Dubai World Central Airport will commence in April this year. In addition, landing systems were delivered to Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Oman and Israel. In China Northrop Grumman Park Air Systems’ maintained its high level of sales of navigation equipment making it the company’s largest single market and establishing Northrop Grumman’s navigation equipment as the industry benchmark.
29 Feb 08. Goodrich Corporation (NYSE: GR) announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire TEAC Aerospace Holdings, Inc. (TEAC), a leading provider of proprietary airborne mission data, video recording and debrief products for the defense industry, and cabin video systems for commercial airlines. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. TEAC, a Thayer | Hidden Creek portfolio company, employs roughly 85 people at its Monterey Park, Calif. facility. Major customers include all branches of the U.S. military, allied governments, leading defense contractors, and major airlines worldwide. The company has been in business for more than 30 years, and in 2007 generated over $50m in revenue. “This acquisition provides Goodrich with additional presence in advanced military aircraft data collection as well as post-flight debrief capabilities,” said Curtis Reusser, Segment President, Electronic Systems at Goodrich. “In addition, TEAC’s extensive installed base of analog systems provides significant retrofit opportunities for their new digital offerings. We are proud to have their advanced proprietary products for fixed-wing information management join Goodrich’s bro