GE Buys Smiths Aerospace for $4.8B

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Under Jack Welch, General Electric Company became famous for its determination to be #1 or #2 in a field, or get out and focus on areas where it could achieve a commanding position. That aim still drives GE, which is why it’s worth paying attention to GE’s announced purchase of aircraft control & diagnostic systems manufacturer Smiths Aerospace plc for $4.8 billion in cash. Smiths Aerospace plc was part of the Smiths Group, with more than 11,000 employees in Europe, North America, and Asia; and $2.4 billion in equivalent 2006 revenues. In addition to being a leading supplier of flash-welded rings used in the manufacture of aircraft engines, their key products and services also include flight management systems, airborne platform computing systems, monitoring systems, power generation, conversion and distribution products, actuation products and systems for flight control, thrust reversers and landing gear applications, various engine components, aircraft structural components, land navigation, and a global customer services organization. The company has quietly but firmly built up key positions in these areas, with a significant presence on most commercial aircraft, many military aircraft, and even military land vehicles. See this diagram for a fine overview. More important, Smiths has a firm presence […]

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