Sun, Apr 12, 2009
Mid-East Investors Reportedly Close To Finalizing Deal
An insider report of a bid by a
consortium of Mid-Eastern investors to purchase Textron published
by a Kuwaiti newspaper last week caused sagging shares of company
stock to post a gain of almost 50 percent last Thursday.
The Wall Street Journal reports Kuwait's Al-Watan newspaper
disclosed last week that a consortium of United Arab Emirates
companies and a Kuwaiti firm have offered $21 a share for Textron,
over twice Wednesday's closing share value of
$9.11. Spirited trading on Thursday spiked Textron
stock up another $4.45, closing at $13.56.
A conglomerate comprised of several unrelated businesses in
addition to Cessna, Bell Helicopters, and its defense contracting,
Textron also owns E-Z-GO golf carts, electrical toolmaker Greenlee,
Jacobsen lawnmowers, and auto parts makers Kautex and CWC. Al-Watan
said the UAE consortium is primarily interested in Textron's civil
industries - mainly the Cessna Aircraft Co. - and would likely sell
off Textron's defense operations to a US company.
According to The Boston Globe, Citi
Investment Research analyst Jeffrey T. Sprague said that breaking
up Textron would probably benefit shareholders. "This type of
scenario would likely solve one of the key problems in realizing
Textron's full value, namely that Textron has many pieces which
would fit well with other companies, but all of Textron does not
fit well with any one company," Sprague said. "Clearly the US
government would not let (Bell Helicopters or the defense systems
business) fall into foreign hands."
Macquarie analyst Robert Stallard offered that a buyout by a
Middle East consortium would make more sense than selling the
company to a large defense contractor. "A couple of entities in the
[Middle East] region have a track record of investing in aerospace,
and the region as a whole has been a long-term purchaser of
business aviation, and so we believe there is good awareness of the
value of the Cessna brand, even if it is in a downturn at the
moment," Stallard said.
When asked for comment, Textron spokeswoman Karen Gordon said,
"It's our policy not to comment on market rumors."
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