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15 Feb 06. The Ministry of Defence and Carlyle, the US private equity group, recouped an extra £92.6m from the privatisation of Qinetiq, when they exercised the over-allotment option on the controversial flotation. The sale means the government has raised £357.8m from the Qinetiq float. Carlyle has made £194.2m. The private equity group bought a 34 per cent stake for £42m in 2002. It retains a 10.5 per cent stake – worth about £145m yesterday. The MoD retains a “golden share” of 19.3 per cent, worth about £255m, which allows it to block possible takeovers of Qinetiq.The two biggest shareholders in Qinetiq, the MoD’s former research laboratory, sold the extra shares after last week’s initial public offering was more than six times subscribed. (Source: FT.com)

17 Feb 06. Speculation about the future of Thales flared up again yesterday after it emerged that employees at the French defence electronics group had expressed an interest in acquiring Dassault Aviation’s 5.9 per cent stake in their company. Charles Edelstenne, Dassault chairman, revealed at his company’s annual results meeting that he had been approached by Apat, the Thales staff shareholder association. Apat, which is also a powerful lobby group for employee share ownership in France, confirmed to the FT that it was speaking to banks about ways of financing a bid for Dassault’s stake. Thales employees hold a 5 per cent stake through a savings plan set up in 1998, aimed at preventing unwelcome approaches for the group. However the holding is set to fall significantly next year and Apat is concerned about maintaining employee ownership in a group that has been the subject of much bid speculation. “Today we have the same concerns,” said Philippe Lepinay, Apat president. “We need to keep between 5 and 8 per cent of Thales.” Mr Lepinay said Apat had approached the government, which has a 31.5 per cent stake in Thales, about its proposals and the reaction was “favourable”.(Source: FT.com)

17 Feb 06. Charles Edelstenne, chairman of Dassault Aviation, said yesterday that his company has not received an offer from French telecoms equipment group Alcatel for its 5.7 per cent share of the capital of French defence electronics specialist Thales. Mr Edelstenne, who was speaking at a press conference, did say that the professional electronics group APAT had approached it regarding the Thales stake. (Source: FT.com/Abstracted from Le Monde)

15 Feb 06. Stork, the industrial conglomerate involved inproduction of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, yesterday became the latest Netherlands-listed company to respond to investor protests by saying it was considering going private. The development came barely a fortnight after Stork announced a €350m
($417m) share buy-back and capital repayment programme and said it would shed two units to focus on core aerospace, food systems and technicalservices activities. Those moves did not go far enough to satisfy minority investors, including investment funds Centaurus Capital and Paulson & Co, which were concerned the company was under-valued because of its conglomerate structure, according to people familiar with the matter. The proposal to go private was one of several options tabled by investors ahead of the announcement on February 1 that Stork would sell its printing and building maintenance units and launch a three-year programme to return cash to shareholders. Stork said the announcement on February 1 had been “well received”. But the modest share price reaction afterwards was seized on by investors as evidence management had not resolved the valuation issue. (Source: FT.com)

15 Feb 06. Saab results
Sales SEK 19,314 m. (17,848)
Net income SEK 1,199 m. (1,310)
Earnings per share SEK 10.89 (11.78)
Proposed dividend per share SEK 4.00 (3.75)
Order bookings SEK 17,512 m. (16,444), order backlog totaled SEK 42 billion
Operating income SEK 1,652 m. (1,853), income after Financial items SEK 1,551m.
“Saab again delivers a s

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