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07 Mar 12. Supacat Pty Ltd, the high mobility vehicle specialist and innovative design house, announced the acquisition of the business assets and staff of engineering design services provider, Unique Solution Partners Pty Ltd (USP) based in Melbourne, Australia.
The acquisition is in line with the strategy announced last October of the creation of a Supacat operational capability in Australia. The acquisition enhances Supacat’s capability to provide in-country support to existing fleets in the critical areas of design and engineering. In addition to a general automotive engineering capability, USP provides Supacat with world-class capabilities in Computer Aided Engineering, Composite Material Technology and Prototype Development. It also provides a strategic foothold in the Asia Pacific region.
“Bringing the USP team into the Supacat family provides us with a great kick-start for our ambitions in Australia and brings some important complementary capabilities to our global team. We have a great opportunity to take the skills that USP have perfected in the Automotive industry and exploit those in other markets in which Supacat has an interest.” said Michael Halloran, Managing Director, Supacat Pty Ltd.
Nick Ames, Managing Director of Supacat Ltd, said, “The acquisition is the first in Supacat’s 30 year history and supports our strategy to access new regional markets and new industry sectors. It enables us to improve support for our vehicle fleets in service with the Australian Defence Force and it complements Supacat’s diversification into the oil & gas and renewable energy sectors”.

09 Mar 12. Italy has eased its grip on state-controlled holdings in the energy, defense and telecoms sectors, as EU commissioner-turned-Prime Minister Mario Monti pushes for greater respect for EU rules. “The measures adopted concern new rules on special powers in the defense and national security sectors,” a government statement said March 9, after the cabinet adopted a decree following threats of EU legal action.
Italy’s so-called “golden share” holdings breached European Union rules on free movement of capital, and in November the European Commission threatened to take Italy to the European Court of Justice.
“Golden shares” give the government the right to veto decisions by other shareholders and are often used as a protectionist measure to prevent assets from being sold off.
“Italy has conformed with European Union regulation, giving the government powers to intervene to take care of the country’s legitimate, essential and strategic interests,” the government said.
Italy had been accused of not complying with a previous EU ruling outlawing golden shares with regards to energy giants Enel and Eni, defense firm Finmeccanica and Telecom Italia in particular. Monti, who came to power in November after Silvio Berlusconi fell from grace, is a former competition commissioner. He had been given extra time by the
commission to relinquish Rome’s grip on the sectors in question; the new rules take effect immediately. With the decree, the government said it hoped to “close the violation procedure opened by the European Commission in 2009.” While the government has given up some control in the energy and telecoms sectors, it retains a firm grip on the defense sector. (Source: Defense News)

07 Mar 12. Higher commercial aviation sales and cost savings encouraged Cobham to increase its dividend by one-third in spite of a shrinking of full-year revenues. The UK-based defence and aerospace systems provider has been hurt by delays in Congress to approve military contracts, which contributed to a 3 per cent year-on-year slip in Cobham’s full-year revenues to £2bn in 2011. The FTSE 250 group said, however, that cost savings had achieved better results than expected and would deliver savings of £75m by the end of 2013, up from a previous target of £65m. The savings, combined with a stronger performance at its commercial and non-defence division

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