Company Announces Plan to Sell Defense Unit
ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. (AP) _ Gould Inc., a major electronics maker, has announced plans to sell its defense systems division, which accounts for more than a quarter of the company’s annual sales.
James McDonald, Gould’s president and chief executive officer, said Tuesday the decision ″is based on the company’s strategy to concentrate its financial, people and marketing resources on those areas of commerical electronics that offer the greatest growth opportunities.″
Gould’s defense business earned $37.3 million on sales of $400.3 million last year. It includes eight plants and employs 5,000 people, producing avionics, military communications and anti-submarine warfare equipment.
McDonald said sale of the defense systems business was part of a divestment program by Gould to raise between $550 and $625 million. Gould previously announced plans to sell its medical divisions, real-estate operations and battery businesses.
McDonald said those sales would strengthen the company’s balance sheet and provide support for Gould to further develop its commercial electronics business - information and industrial automation systems, among others.
Gould said it had initiated discussions with a number of unspecified companies that previously expressed interest in its defense-system businesses.
The company has divested more than 22 major businesses and acquired 13 in the past five years as it made a transition from heavy industrial goods to electronics and information systems. It operates 71 facilities wordwide, including 20 plants in 11 foreign countries.