Marconi plans fresh US acquisitions and New York listing

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Marconi, the telecommunications group that sold its defence interests to BAe Systems last year, served notice yesterday that it planned further US acquisitions and a bigger research and development budget.

Lord Simpson, the chief executive, said that Marconi was keen on purchasing more businesses in North America and obtaining a US listing.

Marconi transformed itself last year with the US acquisitions of Fore Systems and Reltec - two deals that propelled it into the ranks of big equipment suppliers to internet companies.

Lord Simpson said that it would probably take another six to 12 months to bed down those acquisitions but that it was on the lookout for fresh deals, particularly in the area of telecoms software. Both start-ups and larger companies were potential targets.

He was speaking as Marconi announced a £40m investment in Cambridge University and said the group planned to raise research and development spending from the current level of 15 per cent of sales.

Lord Simpson did not give any firm timing on the US listing but he said: "We'd very much like to broaden our investment base. It would be nice to do something before the end of the summer."