BAE Systems eyes sale of US unit Platform Solutions

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BAE Systems, the British maker of military equipment, said on Monday that it was looking to sell US-based support business Platform Solutions, confirming a weekend report.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper had said BAE Systems was targeting more than 650 million pounds (784 million euros, 1.0 billion dollars) for the company that employs 4,200 staff worldwide and which develops electronic components, such as cockpit displays, for the commercial and defence transport sectors.

Responding, BAE said in a statement on Monday: "The company regularly reviews its business portfolio to ensure it is delivering the best value for shareholders and customers.

"Against this background BAE Systems confirms that it has engaged Wells Fargo and JP Morgan 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," it added.

According to the Mail, Platform Solutions has been put up for sale as BAE Systems looks to offload non-core assets.

"BAE Systems is realigning itself and trying to cut back on having sub-system divisions that are buried within the group," it quoted an industry insider as saying.

"The division also operates in the commercial sector, which is not key to BAE's strategy of expanding within the defence sector in emerging markets such as India."

© 2010 AFP

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