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04 Sep 11. The German government is preparing to take a stake in European aerospace company EADS after no buyers for part of Daimler’s holding came forward. Berlin has been seeking buyers for the 7.5 per cent stake – a third of the
holding controlled by the carmaker – since February, but a senior official has now admitted the ongoing search is “hopeless”. The government views Daimler’s holding as a counterweight to the 22.5 per cent held by the French government and media group Lagardère – and a guarantee that production will stay in Germany as well as France.
Daimler first suggested the government step in in February after it could find no buyer. While Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats were in favour, their free-market Free Democrat partners demanded another search. The government recently widened the hunt to include financial investors alongside strategic ones. But even one senior Free Democrat admitted to the Financial Times that the “KfW-option” was now “the most likely”. To maintain Germany’s stake, KfW, the state-run development bank, would spend about €2.5bn buying Daimler’s 7.5 per cent and a further 7.5 per cent that the carmaker has indicated that it wants to sell next year. A third of its stake is currently held by banks who have the right to sell it back to Daimler next year. (Source: FT.com)

01 Sep 11. Government suppliers fell in early trading after SAIC , a provider of engineering services to the US military, missed quarterly earnings targets. SAIC shares were down 9.6 per cent at $13.56, after the company reported earnings of 32 cents a share, 3 cents lower than expected, following a revenue fall of 6 per cent quarter on quarter.
“In this challenging government contracting environment, the lack of funding for ongoing programmes and for ramping up new work drove a shortfall in revenues,” Walt Havenstein, SAIC chief executive, said. (Source: FT.com)

31 Aug 11. IBM joined the rush for “big data” acquisitions on Wednesday when it announced a deal to buy i2, a Cambridge-based company that helps police forces and the military analyse vast amounts of security information. The deal follows the $11bn acquisition of Autonomy, another Cambridge software company, by Hewlett-Packard in August, and is a further sign of technology companies building up their abilities to sift through large amounts of data. Thanks to the internet and the almost unlimited ability to store computer documents, companies are now faced with a tide of information but struggle to make sense of it. There is a high demand for software that helps organise and search this data. (Source: FT.com)

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