The Chicago Tribune
reports that, in a meeting earlier this week in London, Boeing
Chairman Phil Condit "said he is interested in the possibility of
combining with BAE Systems PLC."
It's one of many ideas, the Boeing boss man noted, that are
currently being discussed, to add shareholder value; and it's not
setting in concrete, just yet.
BAe has long been publicly shopping
for a US partner, and Boeing is a logical fit, except, possibly,
for one thing: Boeing has too many things going on. Boeing is one
of the US's top defense contractors, and holds, controls, and
produces scads of sensitive and secret information; and BAe is
a British company. Just how the State and Defense Departments would
look upon close relations could become a problem. BAe, though, is
already the sixth-largest defense contractor to the Pentagon,
according to the Trib (Boeing is #2, behind the
Georgia-based Lockheed Martin); and we remember BAe tried
to buy TRW last year (and lost that bid to Lockheed Martin).
publicly admitted to having corporate-secret Lockheed Martin
information on the EELV program; Lockheed Martin responded with a
On Wednesday, the two fired Boeing employees, Kenneth Branch,
64, and his former supervisor, William Erskine, 43, were formally
charged with federal conspiracy crimes relating to Branch's
recruitment from Lockheed Martin.
Whether the BAe connection would be a purchase, swap, or merger
has not, of course, been detailed; but Condit hinted at the last
arrangement: "Would I do a merger if it created value? Yes," Condit
said. The key would be whether such a deal would bring marginal
increases to Boeing's bottom line, he explained.