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24 May 06. L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL) announced today that it has agreed to acquire Crestview Aerospace Corporation (CAC) for $135m in cash. The business is expected to have annual sales of approximately $120m in 2006, and will be included in L-3’s Aircraft Modernization and Maintenance (AM&M) reportable segment. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2006, subject to customary closing conditions, and to be slightly accretive to L-3’s earnings in 2006. With facilities in Fairhope, Alabama, and Crestview, Florida, CAC provides aircraft structures, major airframe assemblies and military aircraft modifications for leading prime contractors and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Customers of its AeroStructures Group include the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Bell Helicopter Textron, Boeing, GKN-Westland, Vought Aircraft Industries, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. Select partners for its Aircraft Modifications Group include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, MTC Technologies, Aerospace Integration Corporation (AIC) and Northrop Grumman. Additionally, L-3 currently partners with CAC for C-130 aircraft, as well as for H-60 and H-35 helicopters.

23 May 06. Avon Rubber has reached a conditional agreement to dispose of its automotive business to a management buy-out team backed by Red Diamond Capital for £63m. The automotive components business represents about three-quarters of Avon’s turnover but the company said it had decided to sell it because the board believed it could “sustain higher margins and growth” in its protection and engineered product businesses. Avon will take an exceptional net loss on the disposal of £17.8m.The deal was announced along with Avon’s interim results, which saw a jump in revenues on continuing operations from £24.5m to to £36.9m. Pre-tax losses in the six months to March 31 narrowed to £427,000 (£1.64m). (Source: FT)

23 May 06. Anteon May Divest Before Merging With General Dynamics. Anteon, Fairfax, Va., may have to divest nearly $200 million of its business in order to close its proposed $2.2 billion merger with General Dynamics, sources say.
Likely candidates include Anteon’s contracts with the U.S. Navy, which involve supervision of shipbuilding and submarine construction work, the sources said.
General Dynamics spokesman Rob Doolittle and Anteon spokesman Mark Meudt declined to comment. The U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing the merger proposal, which was announced in December. The deal was initially expected to be completed by April 30, but both companies extended the deadline to July 31 after the Justice Department sought more details. Spokesmen for both companies said they expect the deal to be completed by June 30. Sources said the request for additional information pertained to Anteon’s contracts that could involve supervising ship and submarine construction work done by General Dynamics. This could pose an “organizational conflict of interest,” they said. (Source: Defense News)

23 May 06. EADS, the Franco-German aerospace group, is merging several companies within its Europe-wide space division, EADS Space, and renaming it in an effort to create a new brand. The new, simplified division will be called Astrium and begin operations on July 1. Operations for carrier rockets and manned space travel, which were legally independent until now, will be grouped together, as will EADS’s satellite operations in Germany and France. The group’s services business, which includes military communications and the development of Galileo, the planned European navigation system, will become Astrium Services. The new division will be based in Ottobrunn, near Munich. The move follows EADS’s failed attempt to muscle in on plans by Thales and Alcatel to merge their satellite operations. The French defence electronics group and the telecoms equipment supplier fiercely resisted EADS’s overtures. ESA, the European space flight agency, is nevertheless investigating the

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