Hawker Siddeley Launches Takeover Defense, Cuts 8,000 Jobs
LONDON (AP) _ Hawker Siddeley Group PLC on Thursday took steps to ward off a hostile $2.6 billion takeover offer from BTR PLC, announcing a restructuring that would cut operating costs by $172 million a year and eliminate 8,000 jobs.
The electrical and mechanical engineering concern said that the restructuring, which also involves closing 18 plants, would be in place by the end of the year. The job eliminations represent 18 percent of the work force.
It restated its long-term aim of focusing on three main businesses, electric motors, industrial batteries and air engine repair and maintenance.
BTR, an industrial conglomerate, launched its cash and stock takeover offer on Sept. 20.
In making its offer, BTR attacked Hawker Siddeley’s financial record and criticized management for failing to unlock the company’s potential.
Hawker Siddeley’s 1990 net profit fell 48 percent to 55.7 million pounds, or $96 million although revenue rose 1.5 percent to 2.18 billion pounds, or $3.75 billion.
Hawker Siddeley’s board of directors said Thursday that BTR hasn’t shown how it would improve on what Hawker Siddeley was already doing.
Hawker Siddeley’s chairman, Sir Peter Baxendell, said the company was ″well advanced in a radical restructuring of Hawker Siddeley, which we are convinced will realize more value for shareholders than the ill-conceived offer from BTR.″
There is a minimal overlap between the businesses of BTR and those of Hawker Siddeley, the company said.
It said BTR was a ″1980s-style, acquisition-led, accounting-driven conglomerate″ which has ″neither the skills or the patience to succeed in the challenging global engineering markets of the 1990s.″