BAE could sell US operations

Posted on 13 Sep 2010 by The Manufacturer

UK defence manufacturer BAE Systems is looking to sell its US aerospace facilities for $2bn (£1.3bn).

The company has instructed bankers JP Morgan to find a buyer for its platforms division in the US which specialises in electronics and engine controls for both commercial and military planes.

“The company regularly reviews its business portfolio to ensure it is delivering the best value for shareholders and customers,” said BAE in a statement. “Against this background BAE Systems confirms that it has engaged Wells Fargo and JPMorgan to advise on strategic options with regard to the Platform Solutions business, including a possible sale.

“There can be no certainty that any transaction with respect to the Platform Solutions business will occur.”

Commentators suggest the move is response to spending cuts on both sides of the Atlantic. In the UK’s Strategic Defence Review, due to be unveiled next month, the defence budget is expected to be hit by as much as a 15 per cent. It is still to be decided whether or not the Ministry of Defence is to foot the bill for the Trident defence system out of its budget and work on the £5bn project to build two new aircraft carriers in which BAE has much interest could be scaled back.

The US accounts for roughly half of all of BAE’s aerospace revenues at the moment but the Obama administration is looking to slash its own military budget by around $100bn over the next five years.

Last week BAE announced it is to cut up to 1,000 jobs across four UK sites.