Vickers in armoured vehicles link-up

VICKERS WILL this week announce a joint venture with Giat, the French armaments firm, to form a new company making armoured vehicles with combined sales of around pounds 500m.

Vickers will sign a memorandum of understanding with the state-owned group to the effect that it will co-operate on a range of activities and form a new company, owned 50-50 between Vickers and Giat.

The company will concentrate on developing armoured vehicles in competition with the "battlefield taxi", a multi-purpose armoured car being commissioned by the German and British governments.

Vickers recently lost the race to win an order for the battlefield taxi to Alvis, the rival armaments firm which is part-owned by GKN, Vickers' main rival.

The deal with Giat is the outcome of a year-long search by Sir Colin Chandler, chief executive of Vickers, for a partner in the armoured vehicles industry. Vickers also considered a link-up with Rheinmetall, a German rival, and the US-based Carlyle group.

European governments have been pressing for consolidation in the armoured vehicles industry because of declining orders and a serious problem of over capacity. While around 20 manufacturers make the vehicles, only a handful of governments are likely to place substantial orders.

The joint venture with Giat will link Vickers with France's leading manufacturer of LeClerc tanks, competing for export orders from South Africa and Greece.

A deal will bring Vickers one stage closer to its aim of ditching its non-core activities and focusing on marine technology. It is also a success for Paul Buysse, the chief executive, who has been seeking to re-focus the group since his arrival last year.

In July, Mr Buysse, formerly of BTR, secured the pounds 479m sale of Rolls- Royce Motor Cars to Volkswagen of Germany. The purchase price included an element of compensation for previous investments ploughed into Rolls- Royce by Vickers.

The sale helped Vickers to buy Ulstein, a Norwegian marine equipment company, for pounds 300m. Vickers already has a presence in marine technology through its subsidiary, KaMeWa. The company still has pounds 200m in cash to spend on further acquisitions.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Guru Careers: Executive Assistant / PA

£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot