GE Announces Deal To Buy Smiths Aerospace for $4.8 Billion
Smiths Aerospace, the supplier of flight management systems on the Boeing Business Jet, is poised to become a subsidiary of General Electric after the Smiths Group agreed last month to sell its aviation unit for $4.8 billion. The deal faces scrutiny from U.S. and European regulators, but it is widely expected to close within a few months. GE’s last bid to snatch up a multibillion-dollar firm with deep roots in aerospace involved the aborted merger with Honeywell International. The European Commission scuttled that deal in July 2001 after concerns that the combined mega-conglomerate would wield too much power. GE’s buyout of Smiths Aerospace is seen as a far simpler transaction. Smiths’ involvement in aerospace is limited to the supply of FMS, landing gear, flight controls, thrust reversers and other products for commercial and military aircraft.