Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
There might not be the enthusiasm of a couple of years ago, but some deals in the defense sector might actually get done, according to Thomas Captain, head of Deloitte‘s aerospace and defense group.
Speaking at the annual Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington, Captain said there were three possibbilities for deals that he sees in the near future.
While there seems to be little room (and even less money) for a huge, groundbreaking deal, Captain said there will be some opportunities for things to buy.
Captain gave a number of scenarios, including that European companies might want to make niche buys of U.S.-based shops and also, that despite currency concerns, U.S. companies still see some room to expand outside their borders.
Instead, for the U.S. government and the many companies that provide its weapons and defense systems, the time is coming to start deciding on priorities and coming to grips with how to finance all of the things that need to be done.
Robert Stevens, CEO of Lockheed Martin, said at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit on Tuesday that he expects a vigorous review of everything the government buys, flies or uses to defend its shores.
In a time of shrinking budgets and fears for the future, one of the biggest questions of this year’s Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit was what will happen with the F-22 fighter jet that is made by Lockheed Grumman.
Lockheed Chief Executive Robert Stevens is really the guy we wanted to ask that question and he didn’t shrink from giving a pretty full defense of the jet.
Executives at this year’s Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit almost uniformely said that finding critical, and rather immediate, value in mergers and acquisitions was especially important now in a climate of less money available for financing.
But opportunities do exist and can be found after careful hunting, said Alex Dorrian (heard first in this clip), CEO of Thales UK and executive vice president of International Operations for Thales Group worldwide, and Allan Cameron, chairman and CEO of Thales North America.
But, aside from the tragic cost of death or injury, wars also cost a lot of money to finance and President-elect Barack Obama will be facing some of those costs (as well as a whole mess of other stuff) when he takes office in January.
The world is a more dangerous place because of the global economic meltdown, according to Northrop Grumman Chief Executive Ronald Sugar, whose company provides specialized aircraft, radar and other electronics to meet that threat.
Sugar was the kick-off speaker at the annual Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit on Monday in Washington, D.C.