After BAE-EADS: small deals, not mega-mergers
Industry executives and bankers do not see other mega-deals on the horizon for now, after the $45 billion UK-French-German talks collapsed on Wednesday. The failure showed how easily a deal of that scale can be derailed by competing interests of different countries, despite commercial logic.
Instead, major defense companies likely will focus on possible combinations with smaller players such as Rockwell Collins, L-3 Communications Holdings Inc, SAIC Inc, ITT Exelis and Harris Corp, according to interviews with more than a dozen industry executives and bankers.
None of the big players in the global defense industry seem inclined to do mega-mergers similar to the BAE-EADS proposal, said Loren Thompson, a Washington-based defense consultant who has advised BAE's U.S. unit and its competitors.
The American companies are all at a place where they're not eager to grow in defense and are basically trying to secure their base, while the overseas companies have been chastened in watching the BAE-EADS transaction falter.
It is also unlikely that big U.S. prime defense contractors would bid for BAE Systems, even though the company is considered potentially in play after the failed merger, because of the potential complexity, these people said.
EADS said it would continue its aggressive hunt
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