Thomson-CSF Eyes Vosper

Monday, June 05, 2000
French defense group Thomson-CSF plans to bid for British warship builder Vosper Thorneycroft, which in turn is preparing a bid for U.K.-based Hunting Engineering, according to press reports.

Officials of Thomson-CSF, which recently acquired defense electronics company Racal Plc, said the company could bid up to 15 pounds ($22.46) per share, valuing Vosper at $754.6 million. The takeover bid, which is reportedly welcomed by the British government, would ensure Thomson-CSF a slice of a multi-billion dollar contract to build new frigates for Britain's Royal Navy.

Vosper was reportedly mulling a bid for the defense arm of British-based Hunting Engineering, a maker of weapons integration systems for Apache attack helicopters along with engineering business in the oil industry. Hunting is valued at $301.8 million. A defense analyst as saying the deal would give Vosper a "broader defense business."

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