Vickers in armoured vehicles link-up
Monday 11 January 1999
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.
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Kim Jong-un 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Black Friday UK: The shops hit by chaos and violence as shopping frenzy sweeps country
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Russell Brand: 'Katy Perry? I don’t know who that is'
Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'
iJobs Money & Business
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: EAST ANGLIA - SENIOR SOLICITOR LEVEL ROLE** -...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious asset management house seeks a...
£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: This is a varied role focusing on the firm's mutua...
£90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...