12 Jul 12. Arms makers are sizing up niche acquisitions in cyber security and commercial aerospace in the hunt for growth as uncertainty over military spending in the West has put larger-scale defence sector deals on hold – at least for now. Feeling the strain from shrinking defence budgets in the United States and Europe, weapons makers from Britain’s BAE Systems to U.S. group Raytheon are eyeing companies with innovative technology or a strong position in a specialist market, ex ec utives at the Farnborough Airshow said.
“Cyber and IRS (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) are the only real growth areas in the defence sector at the moment and the big players are looking to move into those spaces more and more,” said David Baxt, the global head of aerospace and defence investment banking at Jefferies.
Companies with a large exposure to defence markets have already started
acquiring smaller groups that can take them into a more commercial space.
British aero and defence group Cobham’s recent £275m ($426m) acquisition of Danish satellite and radio equipment maker Thrane & Thrane took it into the communications market, while BAE’s acquisition of Norkom earlier this year moved it into financial services and fraud protection.
William Swanson, chief executive of U.S. arms maker Raytheon, said his company had not slowed its acquisition plans due to the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. defence budget, but that it was focusing on buying up smaller specialist firms. “We’re buying four or five companies a year. They’re small, but they’re niche for us and it hasn’t slowed our activity,” Swanson told Reuters at the air show. “Cyber has been a good one for us and our business has been growing, and it’s really growing because of cyber.” Raytheon acquired three cyber companies in 2011.
(Source: Aviation Week)
13 Jul 12. Cassidian and Carl Zeiss AG have agreed to run the optronics and optics activities of Carl Zeiss Optronics GmbH jointly in future. In a contract signed on 13 July 2012 between EADS Deutschland GmbH –
Cassidian’s German legal entity – and Carl Zeiss AG, the two partners
stipulated that Cassidian would acquire 75.1 per cent of the shares in Carl Zeiss Optronics GmbH, headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. Carl Zeiss will retain the remaining 24.9 per cent. The ownership interests are to be assigned to Cassidian once all the necessary authorisations and anti-trust approvals have been granted, announced the two companies in Munich and Oberkochen. Incorporating this sector of Carl Zeiss is a strategic expansion on the part of Cassidian of its existing sensor product portfolio in the area of sensors. Carl Zeiss Optronics will be able to make use of Cassidian’s global sales channels, offices and subsidiaries, as well as its know-how in the area of business development, and gains long-term prospects for its existing business activities as a result of this venture. All in all, the two partners expect the new enterprise to improve their global market access and international competitiveness. The agreement includes a site and job security guarantee until 2015. The company will be part of Cassidian’s Sensors and Electronic Warfare Business Line. The Carl Zeiss optronics division develops and manufactures optronic, optic and precision-engineered products for military and civil applications at its German sites in Oberkochen and Wetzlar and in Irene, South Africa, and has around 780 employees. Among its main focuses are border surveillance systems, optical and opto-electronic devices and components for vehicles such as sensors and optics, as well as submarine periscopes.
04 Jul 12. Emmen Aerospace, Inc. will rebrand to become BOSH Technologies, a member of The BOSH Group (TBG), effective October 1, 2012. The transition will formalize Emmen’s induction into TBG, a family of companies dedicated to the development and operation of customized unmanned system solutions. Emmen, which specializes in the development, pro