17 Apr 07. Thales is planning to extend its co-operation with Italy’s Finmeccanica as an alternative to the long-awaited full-blown consolidation among Europe’s biggest defence groups, which remains blocked by heightened political tensions. Denis Ranque, Thales’ chairman, said Monday in an interview with the Financial Times that cross-border deals were proving increasingly difficult. “In terms of Europeanisation (of the industry), we are not progressing, we are regressing,” Mr Ranque said. “Given the tension we face between a number of European countries, there are very few moves that would today be politically acceptable.” Mr Ranque’s comments come amid strains in the Franco-German relationship at EADS, the aerospace and defence group which is struggling to balance national interests against industrial pressures. EADS, which as well as Airbus owns Eurocopter and roughly a third of missile group MBDA, is one of Europe’s largest defence companies. Mr Ranque said that in light of the political constraints, the group was keen to explore the potential for further joint ventures with Finmeccanica. “There is clearly a political and corporate project to reinforce our partnership with Finmeccanica in space and other activities,” he said. “It is a company with which I want to create more ties.” However, Mr Ranque ruled out a full merger of the two companies’ defence electronics businesses as being “probably too big”. He also said Thales would look at any businesses that came on the market as a result of shake-outs at other companies. There were certain activities at Safran, the struggling aeroengine and mobile phones company, that would interest Thales, Mr Ranque said, although he would not be drawn further. (Source: FT.com)
13 Apr 07. CAE Inc. and 4341392 Canada Inc. announced that the cash offer to purchase all the issued and outstanding common shares of Engenuity Technologies Inc., as extended on March 30, 2007, has now expired. On April 3, 2007, Bidco had taken up 14,902,225 Engenuity Common Shares. An additional number of 45,990 Engenuity Common Shares have been tendered to the Offer as of April 12, 2007; once those are taken up Bidco will hold a total of 14,948,215 Engenuity Common Shares representing approximately 85.7% of the total outstanding number thereof. The Offeror intends to take steps in order to proceed with a subsequent acquisition transaction as soon as practicable, pursuant to which the remaining Engenuity Common Shares which have not been tendered to the Offer would be acquired. The Offeror owns a sufficient number of Engenuity Common Shares to approve such a transaction at any special meeting of shareholders called for that purpose. Upon completion of the subsequent acquisition transaction, the Offeror intends to de-list the Engenuity Common Shares from the Toronto Stock Exchange and to cause Engenuity to apply to securities regulatory authorities to cease to be a reporting issuer. Engenuity develops commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) simulation and visualization software for the aerospace and defence markets. The company’s core products include VAPS, a software product used by aircraft and automobile designers to create models and simulations of cockpit displays; STAGE, a simulation toolkit used to create and interconnect simulation environments; and AI.implant, an artificial intelligence (AI) tool used to model individual and crowd behaviour for military simulations and the gaming industry. Engenuity recently acquired AcuSoft, a modelling and simulation products and services company based in Orlando, Florida, with a strong client base in the US Army and Marine community. Engenuity is based in Montreal with offices in Orlando, Atlanta, London, Paris and Düsseldorf as well as a worldwide distributor network, and employs approximately 120 people.
19 Apr 07. BTG cashes in chips. BTG, the technology developer that is turning itself into a life sciences specialist, continues to dribble out good news. This week it