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20 May 05. Is Lockheed Martin looking at INSYS? Sources close to BATTLESPACE report that Lockheed martin may be running its slide rule over INSYS Ld, with a view to purchase. INSYS the MBO from Hunting PLc., headed by Brian Hibbert relies on Lockheed for a considerable portion of its business, most notably the LIMAWS(R) contract. The company was backed by an ABM AMRO venture fund and Hibbert is believed to be retiring in 18 months time which will release his shares for purchase by a third party. One factor affecting the sale is the land bank currently held by INSYS at its site, if released for planning the land could be worth more than the company, our source told us. BATTLESPACE understands that EADS was also a candidate for the company but we believe that although approved by the UK Board, it was rejected by the Main Board.

20 May 05. International Business Machines Corp. and Nortel Networks Corp. will establish a joint development center to work on products for the telecommunications industry, executives from the companies said. As part of the deal, IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., said it would supply consultants from its giant services arm and engineers from its research laboratories to help revamp Nortel’s research and development. The Brampton, Ontario,
maker of telecommunications equipment suffered a net loss in 2004 and has
seen a sinking stock price amid stiff competition. Dion Joannou, Nortel’s chief strategy officer, said the center will work on a special communications device for telecommunications carriers based around IBM’s computer servers, as well as other projects. Neither company would discuss financial terms, and it couldn’t be determined what sort of financial benefit IBM could expect from the arrangement, which is expected to last five years. (Source: WSJ)

19 May 05. L-3 Communications Holdings, the US defence group, is in talks to acquire Titan Corporation, a developer of technologies for national security worth $1.7bn in market capitalisation. The discussions come less than a year after Titan’s previous agreement to be sold to Lockheed-Martin for $2.4bn was terminated because of a federal investigation into a case of foreign bribery. In March, Titan settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice, agreeing to pay $28.5m after admitting to charges, including having funnelled money to an adviser of the president of Benin in the 1990s. The settlement paved the way for Titan to actively consider a sale again. The current talks to be taken over by L-3 are at a fairly advanced stage, although they could still fall apart, according to people familiar with the matter. (Source: FT)

19 May 05. Denis Ranque, chairman of Thales, said on Tuesday that the group could continue operating without joining forces with another company, even though it is looking at several merger possibilities. Mr Ranque was speaking at the Thales AGM, which was marked by employee protests against the prospect of job cuts. (Source: Le Monde)

17 May 05. Quarterly profits at Applied Materials, the largest supplier of chipmaking equipment, declined by 18 per cent to $305m as semiconductor companies continued to delay capital spending. Mike Splinter, chief executive, said Applied had gained significant share in a market that remained “at best mixed”. Revenues, orders and earnings were expected to decline further in the current quarter, he said. (Source: FT)

12 May 05. Thales Group consolidated revenues in the first three months of 2005 totalled €2,009m, an increase of 3.5% compared to Q1 2004 (€1,941m). On a like-for-like basis, and accounting for the transition to IFRS financial reporting standards, the increase was 5.4%. Exchange rate fluctuations had a slight impact of €15m compared with Q1 2004, while changes in the scope of consolidation (mainly due to the deconsolidation of Thales Electronic Solutions, which was divested on 30 November 2004) resulted in a net reduction in revenues of €19m.

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