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09 Jan 06. The co-chief executive of European aerospace and defence giant EADS said Monday the company would report sales of 33.0 billion euros (40.0 billion dollars) in 2005 and planned on increasing turnover by about 20 percent in the medium term. Speaking at a press conference here, co-chief executive Noel Forgeard, who shares responsibility as head of the company with Thomas Enders, said that EADS was aiming for sales of 40.0 billion euros in the medium term. Forgeard reiterated his support for a tie-up between EADS, or the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, and French defence group Thales, a move supported by the French government but which is looked on unfavourably in Germany. (Source: Defense News)

11 Jan 06. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said it will invest 180bn yen ($1.57bn) to build a large-scale plasma-display-panel plant in western Japan, aiming to retain its lead over South Korean rivals in the fast-growing market for such panels in televisions. The plant will give the Matsushita group the largest plasma-display-panel production capacity in the world, the Osaka-based maker of Panasonic brand consumer-electronics goods said. The move will greatly increase the group’s total plasma-display-panel output capacity, underscoring its commitment to battle for dominance in the rapidly expanding market for flat-panel TVs. The new plant, which will be located beside an existing factory in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, is slated to begin production in July 2007 and reach its full monthly capacity of 500,000 42-inch (107-centimeter) panels by March 2009, the company said. As a result, the group’s plasma-display-panel output capacity will jump to 925,000 units a month, or 11.1 million units per year. The group’s total monthly capacity stood at 300,000 units as of December and will increase to 425,000 units this July when operations at the Amagasaki factory hit full capacity. (Source: FT.com)

12 Jan 06. BAE Systems is asking bondholders to agree to alter the terms and conditions attached to two of its bond issues, worth £250m, due to changes to the accounting treatment of liabilities such as its unfunded pension obligations. The adoption of International Financing Reporting Standards has meant UK companies have to include liabilities such as unfunded pension funds on their balance sheets. The bonds were issued in 1989 and 1991 with documentation that did not reflect the recent account changes. The changes would alter financial ratios written into the bond covenants when they were issued, a BAE spokesperson said yesterday. The company had unfunded pension obligations of £2.8bn on June 30 last year, according to Standard & Poor’s, the credit rating agency. If these liabilities were added to the financial ratios, the company would be in breach of the covenants on its two oldest bonds. The bonds that need to be changed are a £100m 2014 bond, issued in February 1989, and a £150m 2008 note sold in 1991. Other companies that have outstanding bonds which were issued around the same time could also be forced to change the documentation, but investors said yesterday that they did not expect a large number of bonds to be affected. BAE Systems is offering bondholders a consent fee of 0.75 per cent of their holdings if they agree to the changes before January 24. The fee is subject to the resolutions being passed at a meeting of bondholders on February 1. (Source: FT)

01 Jan 06. Effective November 30, 2005 Overwatch Systems acquired Paragon Imaging of Woburn, MA. Paragon was founded in 1987 to provide software for geospatial analysts. The ELT brand product line is used by a high percentage of the tactical image analysts in the US, including the US Air Force Theatre Battle Management Core System, the Naval Special Ops Warfare Command and the DIA. The Paragon engineering team are specialists in NTIF (National Imagery Transmission Format) and comply with a range of Department of Defense certifications. The senio

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