02 Feb 11. The U.K. Ministry of Defence was warned of possible misconduct in the £6bn privatisation of the search and rescue service more than two years before it launched a military police investigation into the bidding process. Senior Whitehall figures have told the Financial Times that a rival bidder raised the alarm in 2008 after discovering that military officers handling the privatisation had taken jobs with CHC, a Canadian helicopter operator whose Soteria consortium went on to win the competition. One of the officers named in the 2008 letter from the UK Air Rescue consortium has since emerged as a focus of a military police inquiry, launched in December, relating to the handling of information during the bidding process. Ministers have suspended the privatisation talks while the inquiries continue. The response to the 2008 allegations is likely to heighten concerns about the MoD’s handling of the privatisation and raise questions over rules governing MoD employees when taking jobs with industry. In its correspondence with MoD officials, the UK Air Rescue consortium cited its concerns over a possible breach of confidentiality as a reason for its withdrawal from bidding. It also criticised the lack of safeguards in protecting sensitive commercial information. Several officers were named in the letter who had moved from the MoD’s “Integrated Project Team” on search and rescue to take jobs with Soteria consortium members. (Source: FT.com)
04 Feb 11. Germany’s Daimler is mulling divesting its stake in European aerospace and defence group EADS, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, citing business sources. Daimler owns 15 percent of EADS and shares effective control with French media group Lagardere which owns 7.5 percent. The French government owns 15 percent but its influence over strategic decisions is limited by a shareholder pact. Neither Daimler nor EADS were immediately available for comment. (Source: Google)
BATTLESPACE Comment: A source told BATTLESPACE last year that Daimler made more from its New York car showroom than form its EADS stake!
06 Feb 11. Pattonair, a leading supplier to the defence and aerospace sector, has been put up for sale for more than £200m. Umeco, has appointed advisory firm NM Rothschild to sell the business, which is believed to be in exclusive talks with Lloyds Banking Group’s private equity arm, Lloyds Development Capital. Based in Derby and employing more than 250, Pattonair supplies parts to companies including BAE, Boeing and Rolls-Royce and operates internationally. It is understood that Umeco wants to focus on its core business of composites for the aerospace industry, along with global motor vehicle distribution and supplying parts to the electrical, marine and wind turbine industries. Pattonair and Umeco declined to comment. (Source: Google)
03 Feb 11. L-1 Identity Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:ID – News), announced that its stockholders have approved the previously announced merger transaction with Safran SA. The L-1 shareholder approval of the transaction was one of the conditions to completing the Safran merger. Having received L-1 shareholder approval and notification from the Federal Trade Commission that the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, applicable to the merger has terminated, completion of the merger remains subject to approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), completion of the previously announced sale of the L-1 intelligence services businesses to BAE Systems Information Solutions Inc. (BAE Systems) and the satisfaction or waiver of other customary conditions. Approval of the proposal to adopt the previously announced Agreement and Plan of Merger dated September 19, 2010 with Safran SA, and the acquisition via merger of L-1 by Safran contemplated thereby, required the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of L-1’s common