26 May 06. Diehl Buys Its Shares Back From Matra/EADS. Diehl BGT Defense bought back a share package from Matra/EADS France, claiming that talks on the creation of a German missile house have stalled, industry executives say. Diehl announced in a May 22 press release its decision to buy back a 13.3 percent share package, bringing 100 percent ownership back under its roof. Diehl said it made the move because “the process of national consolidation of the missile capacity — not progressing.” A Diehl spokesman said European missile house “MBDA shows no will for a European cooperation, which made it hard to find an agreement.” Diehl exercised its option to buy its shares back to bolster the company’s position in the consolidation talks, the spokesman said. According to the spokesman and the press statement, Diehl is still interested in a consolidation in Germany and will continue working toward it. An EADS spokesman in Munich said Diehl’s move “is not helpful for the consolidation process, but doesn’t prevent it either. EADS is still interested in finding a consolidation solution.” Future talks with Diehl will be held via MBDA, the EADS spokesman said. EADS holds 37.5% of MBDA,
However, the EADS and Diehl spokesmen said, independently, that the door for future consolidation talks is still open. When MBDA acquired Germany’s LFK at the beginning of 2006, the German government agreed to the deal on the condition that LFK and Diehl would take up consolidation talks with a view toward the creation of a German missile house. The acquisition of LFK made MBDA the largest missile producer worldwide, dominating the European missile market. “Germany is the third largest missile market after Great Britain and France, but it is questionable whether there are enough projects for two competing companies,” MBDA Chairman Marwan Lahoud told the Financial Times Deutschland daily newspaper in March. He also said that MBDA should have strategic control after the consolidation, and that he wants “to prevent any hostile acquisition of Diehl’s missile branch.” For the German government, a merger of both domestic missile firms is a priority. After the consolidation of the German naval industry — ThyssenKrupp and EADS took over the naval electronics house Atlas Elektronik — the creation of a German missile house was one of the next objectives in defense restructuring. For the government, the consolidation of the German land system industry will be a final goal. (Source: Defense News)
29 May 06. Saab buys Denmark’s Maersk Data Defence. With the acquisition of Maersk Data Defence, Saab is strengthening its position in the Nordic region and establishing itself in a further NATO country. The deal complements and reinforces Saab’s product portfolio in communication, command and control systems. The purchase price is an estimated MDKK 73. “We see this as part of our strategy to strengthen our Nordic profile and develop Saab into a Nordic defence company. We believe communication and command and control systems will be important both in military and civil applications, and Maersk Data Defence can play a vital role in this,” says Kenth-Åke Jönsson, Executive Vice President of Saab. Henrik Ekmann, President of Maersk Data Defence, can see benefits in having access to Saab’s international network: “Maersk Data Defence is a healthy company that has doubled its activities in the past year, but that has the potential to develop even further internationally. This is an area where Saab is strong. It is also interesting that Saab is the company in Sweden that is driving establishment of network based defence – a process that’s also under way in Denmark.” Maersk Data Defence has approximately 210 employees and sales of approximately MDKK 187. The contract is being signed on May 29 and is subject to the approval of the relevant authorities.
30 May 06. Rockwell Collins, Inc. has completed its acquisition of the simulation assets of Evans & Sutherland, a leading prov