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Jobs Concern is Part of British Scrutiny of BAE-EADS Merger

Sep. 24, 2012 - 10:04AM   |  
By Andrew Chuter   |   Comments
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Exports, jobs and national sovereign capabilities will be on the agenda when a British Parliamentary defense security committee opens an investigation into the proposed BAE Systems merger with EADS next month.

The committee, which has only an advisory role, with no constitutional powers to block or delay the merger, announced its intention to hold an inquiry Sept. 24, saying it will examine the likely outcome of any merger on a range of issues, including the protection of sovereign capabilities and the impact on the defense industrial base in the U.K.

It is unusual for the defense committee to scrutinize takeover talks.

Among the 12 key questions the committee said it wanted answers to were the impact on the continuing access to U.S. technology, particularly the Joint Strike Fighter.

A senior British executive familiar with the merger talks told Defense News recently that the merger would have no impact on the JSF deal, with the existing national security safeguards in place in the U.S. and U.K. being adequate protection.

Other key questions included the consequences for the warship building industry, the impact on the supply chain and the future relationship between the Ministry of Defence and BAE, given the existing complex relationship.

Evidence is expected to heard in October and November.

Neither the list of witnesses nor the date of publication of the report has yet been settled on, said a spokeswoman for the defense committee.

The British Prime Minister’s Office also confirmed Monday that David Cameron has held telephone discussions in the last three days with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

All three governments will have to approve the merger before the £27.9 billion ($45.2 billion) deal can go ahead.

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