11 Mar 05. DRS Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: DRS – News) has completed the sale of its DRS Broadcast Technology, Inc. and DRS Weather Systems, Inc. units to The Veritas Capital Fund II, L.P., a New York-based investment company, in a stock purchase transaction. The company’s intent to sell these operating units was disclosed previously. DRS Broadcast Technology and DRS Weather Systems were subsidiaries of Integrated Defense Technologies, Inc. (IDT), of which Veritas was the largest shareholder. IDT was acquired by DRS on November 4, 2003. “The sale of these units was a strategic decision to concentrate our resources and integration efforts on our core defense technology businesses,” said Mark S. Newman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of DRS Technologies. “We believe their established customer bases will continue to be well served in the transfer of these operations to a buyer that is focused on their success and very familiar with them, having been a former owner.” DRS Broadcast Technology develops and manufactures radio frequency broadcast transmitters, systems and power amplifiers primarily for commercial U.S. and international government broadcast stations worldwide, as well as university laboratories. DRS Broadcast Technology will continue to operate at its current location in Dallas, Texas. DRS Weather Systems develops and manufactures Doppler weather surveillance radar systems, receivers, components and software primarily for U.S. and international governments, meteorology, and aviation and research institutions. DRS Weather Systems will continue to operate at its current location in Enterprise, Alabama. Jefferies Quarterdeck, a division of Jefferies & Company, Inc., served as financial advisor to DRS on the sale of DRS Broadcast Technology. Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin served as financial advisor to DRS on the sale of DRS Weather Systems.
11 Mar 05. Thales on Friday reined in its earnings expectations for this year and unveiled a cost-cutting programme as it warned the weak US dollar threatened to take a heavy toll on future profits. (See: BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.7 ISSUE 10, 11th March 2005, EADS REPORTS HIGHER EARNINGS, THALES IN LINE WITH EXPECTATIONS) Denis Ranque, chairman of Europe’s second largest defence electronics group, said Thales was expecting operating profit growth of 2-5 per cent in 2005, down from the 10 per cent target set last year. Mr Ranque said that the previous targets had been set when the dollar was trading at about $1.15 to the euro, against more than $1.30 today. If the group did nothing, he said, Thales’ operating profits would be hit by €30m ($40.4m) this year, and as much as €130m in 2007. To offset the effects of the weak dollar on new contracts, Thales planned to improve its competitiveness by cutting costs, increasing the level of research spending, and reorganising its sales force. The programme, which would involve the regrouping of different Thales sites in France and abroad, would cost a total of €200m over the next two years. He refused to be drawn on the level of annual savings, but said these would at the very least have to cover the effects of the dollar. Meanwhile, in a reference to last year’s attempts by the French government to force a merger with EADS, Mr Ranque insisted that any deal would have to have a “very great industrial logic. Only strong synergies generate value for shareholders.” Mr Ranque has made it clear that he sees few synergies in a deal with the France-German aerospace group. But he refused to rule out a deal with Finmeccanica, the Italian defence electronics group, which Thales approached earlier this year. He described Finmeccanica as an “interesting player” in the defence electronics field. Mr Ranque’s comments came as the group reported an increase in pre-tax profit from €329m to €435m, on lower sales down €300m at €10.3bn. Operating margins rose to more than 7 per cent. (Source: FT)
16 Mar 05. Kaman Corp. (Nasdaq: KAMNA – News) rep