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February 2, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

GEC Plc is proposing to sell large parts of Plessey Co Plc’s defence interests if GEC Siemens Plc is granted permission to come back with a new bid for Plessey, according to The Independent, which says that the partnership hopes to negotiate legally binding agreements with the Ministry of Defence that will cause it to drop its opposition to the bid: worse, from Plessey’s point of view, the paper believes that GEC has been negotiating to sell some of the bits to Thomson CSF SA, which Plessey had rather hoped to keep in its own camp; other Plessey businesses would be sold outright to Siemens AG, which would operate them in competition with GEC Marconi – but given Siemens’ alleged indirect Libyan connection and the general unsoundness of the West German government in the view of the UK administration, that doesn’t sound like a very reassuring offer; the moves are to get round the fact that the UK militia found the idea of running Plessey’s defence businesses on a competitive basis to Marconi wholly unconvincing; GEC is also offering to sell its own GEC Traffic Automation business, and simply to hang on to Plessey’s the two have a UK duopoly of traffic light systems.

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