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11 Jun 07. Ford ‘announces Jaguar sale plan’. Ford has briefed politicians that it is planning to sell its British luxury car marques, Jaguar and Land Rover, the BBC has learned. Ford, which has been cutting costs in a bid to offset declining sales, is expected to make an official announcement in the next few days. BBC business editor Robert Peston said that the company had told MPs it was still some way from doing a deal. Ford expects strong interest from private equity firms, he added. Earlier it was reported that car giant had chosen Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and HSBC to advise it on the sale of the marques. In March it sold sports car firm Aston Martin for £479m ($924m) to a UK-led business group. The reports that Ford had named three banks to sell Land Rover and Jaguar first surfaced in the Financial Times. In a separate report in City AM, private equity firm Alchemy Partners was said to be lining up a £3bn offer for the two luxury brands. (Source: BBC)

11 Jun 07. Fibercore Limited, the World’s leading developer and manufacturer of specialty optical fibers, has become the first company ever to be awarded Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in all three categories: International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development. The recent honour of two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in the International Trade and Sustainable Development categories means that Fibercore Limited now also has the unique distinction of holding all three Queen’s Awards simultaneously, having been recognised in the Innovation category in 2004. The company was also granted a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: International Trade in 2001.

12 Jun 07. Fitch Ratings raised European aerospace and defence group Finmeccanica SpA’s outlook to positive from stable, and affirmed its issuer default and senior unsecured ratings at ‘BBB’ and short-term ‘F2’. The change in outlook reflects Finmeccanica’s improving credit metrics, its ready access to liquid funds, strengthening business profile and consistent delivery of targets, Fitch said. The agency also said the potential for a rating upgrade in the short term is high as the group’s credit profile has been steadily improving in recent years and is now considered strong for the present rating level. The ratings reflect Finmeccanica’s improving market position, profitability increases, modest debt and good order backlog as well as its greater focus on the aerospace and defence business and on efficiency improvements, Fitch said. (Source: Google)

06 Jun 07. The booming passenger jet market and a drive by aerospace manufacturers to outsource the cheaper “nuts and bolts” end of their supply chains helped Umeco lift annual profits by almost 20 per cent. Clive Snowdon, chief executive at the aircraft parts and materials group, said on Tuesday he was in advanced talks about widening a deal to supply the smallest components on Rolls-Royce jet engines. Umeco manages the provision of all Rolls-Royce engine parts valued at £100 or below. After discussions with Rolls-Royce and other suppliers, it hopes to push the price bracket up to about £500, though this remains under negotiation. Mr Snowdon said it could be worth “tens of millions of pounds” in extra sales. Rolls-Royce, Umeco’s biggest customer, outsources much of its manufacturing process, concentrating on higher-value engine technology. Umeco on Tuesday appointed Chris Hole, a former Rolls-Royce procurement chief, as a non-executive director. Umeco is building a composite materials business, supplying “curing” services on Boeing’s new 787 jet and materials for Martin-Baker ejector seats. In the year to March 31, sales rose 14 per cent to £334m, while pre-tax profit was £19m (£16m). Earnings per share were 27p (27.3p) after a rights issue extended the shareholder base. The final dividend is 10p (9.5p), giving a total of 15.5p (14.5p). (Source: FT.com)

11 Jun 07. IBM to buy aerospace software firm Telelogic. IBM has offered to buy Telelogic AB, a Swedish develop

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