BAe leaves merger open

British Aerospace said this week that it was still talking to everybody in its quest for international partners and that it has not yet sealed a merger deal with DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (Dasa). The merger of the German and British defence giants is seen as a possible first step in consolidation of the European defence industry, […]

British Aerospace said this week that it was still talking to everybody in its quest for international partners and that it has not yet sealed a merger deal with DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (Dasa).

The merger of the German and British defence giants is seen as a possible first step in consolidation of the European defence industry, a move needed to enable it to compete with its US rivals.

BAe’s effort to pour cold water on expectations of an imminent deal came in the wake of France’s reluctant abandonment of its opposition to a bilateral merger between BAe and Dasa because it would exclude France’s Aerospatiale.

Although a BAe Dasa merger is unlikely in the next two weeks, it cannot be ruled out, said an informed industry source.