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23 Mar 02. The U.K. Stock Market opened this morning with news that Marconi has failed to convince bankers with its new business plan, which had hoped to kick start the business back into a sound shape.

The shares fell 61.6% to six and three quarter pence following news that a new business plan will now be submitted following the company’s disclosure that its core telecom markets had worsened and that any uncertainty would continue into and beyond March 2003. They rose slightly to seven and three quarters pence a loos of 56.7% by 0915

This leaves the sale of the Marconi Mobile defence business an imperative to gain much needed cash into the business. The announcement is expected at the end of the month between Finmeccanica, BAE SYSTEMS, EADS and Thales. Sources suggest that Finmeccanica is the favourite given the Italian Government’s wish to retain key technology in Italy. However other suggestions are that BAE SYSTEMS is the most likely purchaser given the synergy between the two companies (not least of all being the BAE thought the company was included in the original Marconi purchase!)in the forthcoming Falcon bid and other communications projects.

This latest disclosure makes it almost impossible for the company being chosen as Prime for Falcon given the long term support element of the bid and the investment required in the system.

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