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BUSINESS NEWS

28 Aug 08. Dassault Aviation on Thursday dashed speculation that it could take on the mantle of core French industrial shareholder at Thales, the defence electronics company, by acquiring the 20.8 per cent stake held by troubled telecoms equipment group Alcatel-Lucent. Charles Edelstenne, executive chairman of the civil jet and military aircraft group, insisted that the company had no interest in increasing its 5 per cent stake in Thales. Repeatedly asked whether Dassault would consider buying Alcatel’s stake if it were for sale, the 70-year-old aviation boss replied with a firm “No.” In fact, he added, the group’s aim was to sell its entire holding. (Source: FT.com)

02 Sep 08. Lockheed Martin Corporation [NYSE: LMT] has completed its acquisition of Aculight Corporation.Based in Bothell, Wash., Aculight is focused on providing laser-based solutions for national defense and aerospace customers. The company has expertise in countermeasures, laser radar, high power directed energy and medical products. These capabilities are expected to benefit Lockheed Martin’s customers in areas such as guided munitions, airborne self-protection, advanced sensors and warfighter security. The new business unit will report to Lockheed Martin’s business unit in Akron, Ohio. The acquisition was originally announced on July 28, 2008.Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

01 Sep 08. British electronic sensor and component maker e2v technologies Plc said it agreed to buy privately owned U.S. company QP Semiconductor Inc for a $65m initial cash consideration to boost its US exposure. The market welcomed the deal announced on Monday, which the group expects to be earnings enhancing in the year to end-March 2009. Its shares were up 1 percent at 270 pence at 1131 GMT.Analyst Jane Sparrow at ABN Amro, who has a ‘buy’ recommendation on the stock, said QP supplied mainly legacy programmes, which were of little interest to other chipmakers and resulted in good revenue visibility. ‘QP is a U.S.-based supplier of specialist semiconductors used in military and aerospace and is highly complementary with e2v’s existing business, fulfilling the group’s aim of increasing its exposure to North America and also
strengthening and broadening its relationship with contractors supplying into the U.S. DoD (Department of Defense),’ she said in a note. Keith Attwood, chief executive of e2v, said the deal increased the group’s share of the aerospace and defence sector and established an operational presence in the United States. ‘The U.S. is a geography we have been targeting for a while,’ he said in a telephone interview. ‘The deal also magnifies our footprint by 40 percent from a
sales perspective.’ The company is paying an initial cash consideration of $65m for the California-based company, which has been on the U.S. Defense Supply Center qualified manufacturer’s list since 1998. A further payment of up to $15m, of which $5m can be in shares, will depend on the group meeting future profit targets. QP’s co-founders John Stannard and Gary Voget will remain with the business, e2v’s Finance Director Mike Hannant said. The deal is being funded from existing banking facilities, secured until 2011, he said, and left about £37m ($66.81m) of headroom for further deals. (Source: Google/Thomson Reuters)

28 Aug 08. Dell, the world’s second-biggest personal computer maker, on Thursday sounded a sour note on the economy, warning that the slowdown in information technology spending that has gripped the US in recent months has begun to spread to Europe and parts of Asia. The warning came as the company reported worse-than-expected profits for the second quarter, sending its shares down more than 10 per cent in after-hours trading. It came two weeks after Hewlett-Packard, Dell’s bigger rival, trimmed its sales guidance for the coming months. Wall Street had been expecting an improved performance from Dell after a wave of restructuring that ha

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