Boeing CEO Won't Object To BAE Acquisitions

Boeing Co. CEO Phil Condit said last week that his company would have no objections if BAE Systems, the UK aircraft and defense group formerly called British Aerospace, were to purchase U.S.-based aerospace assets. BAE executives said earlier this month that they are interested in acquisitions in the U.S. as an effective way to become the world's No. 1 aerospace business. Any such acquisitions would have a direct effect on Boeing because it would mean a larger competitor for the Seattle-based aerospace giant. BAE has identified two potential targets as Lockheed Martin's avionics business -- Sanders Co. in New Hampshire -- and its controls business, which have annual turnover of about $1.2 billion and $350 million, respectively. Lockheed has expressed an interest in divesting some of its businesses. "We have adopted a very consistent position to not oppose that kind of activity in any case," Condit told reporters. "Clearly, the antitrust laws of the U.S. and the competition policy of the EU must be met, but that's the job of the FTC or Justice or Competition Commission in the UK, and we trust them to do the job they're sent there to do." Lockheed refuses to comment about any BAE interest in its assets.

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