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Eurosatory Preview: Hope Rises for Panhard-Renault Merger

Jun. 4, 2012 By PIERRE TRAN Defense News

PARIS — Talks for Renault Trucks Defense (RTD) to acquire Panhard are at an advanced stage, offering the prospect of a long-awaited consolidation in the French armored vehicle sector, the chief executives of the two companies said.

“We’re at the negotiating stage,” said Christian Mons, Panhard General Defense CEO. “We’re advancing, we’re progressing.”

Panhard specializes in making light military vehicles, including the Sagaie and AMX10 light tanks.

“The negotiations are complicated,” Mons said. “Volvo [owner of Renault Trucks] is an enormous and complicated company. Progress in the negotiations is complex.”

Many industry executives have said a merger in the vehicle sector is vital for French competitiveness.

News of the negotiations between Panhard and Renault Trucks Defense emerged in December, although at that time RTD declined to identify the merger partner, other than to say it was a European company.

“We’re on the last leg,” said Gérard Amiel, chief executive of RTD. “We don’t know if there’s a follow-on or a ravine.”

An acquisition of Panhard is a key step in RTD’s plan to reach 700 million euros ($876.8 million) in sales by 2015, compared with 250 million euros in 2011.

“It’s a real negotiation. All the conditions are in place for it to happen,” Amiel said. “These are the final negotiations of a seller who wants the best price for his product and a buyer who wants to buy as cheaply as possible. The road was longer than we expected.”


France needs to consolidate armored vehicle manufacturing to invest in development of new vehicles. For that, critical mass is needed, the executive said.

The companies need to size up to negotiate with German and Italian firms in future consolidation moves. Germany has Rheinmetall and KraussMaffei-Wegmann, while Italy has the commercial truck maker Iveco.

“The big problem is that there are many companies and too few programs” in Europe, the executive said.

Nexter also needs wins, as the domestic books are empty after the last véhicule blindé combat d’infantrie fighting vehicle and Caesar canon is delivered to the French Army.

Other consolidation questions include whether Thales will buy the systems business of the Nexter group to merge with its land activities, the executive said.

In an announced deal, Thales is swapping its TDA mortar systems subsidiary for a stake in land systems specialist Nexter.

Thales Chief Executive Luc Vigneron said March 7 that a “significant stake” in Nexter was needed to ensure confidence between the two companies, Reuters reported. Thales and Nexter are going through due diligence studies, Vigneron said May 4.

The companies have not yet reached a stage of setting a value on the respective businesses, he said. A deal was not expected to be concluded before the Eurosatory show.

Thales could get between 10 and 20 percent of Nexter in exchange for TDA Armaments and its Belgian FZ subsidiary, former Defense Minister Gérard Longuet said in January.

RTD had 250 million euros in sales in 2011, and Panhard 83 million euros. Nexter had 851 million euros in 2011 sales.

Article en intégralité : rpdefense

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Nexter prêt à une consolidation du marché

Par Barbara Leblanc - Publié le 07 juin 2012

A l’occasion d’une rencontre avec des journalistes à Paris le 7 juin, le PDG du fabricant français de blindés Nexter Philippe Burtin a assuré que les esprits étaient prêts à une structuration européenne…et les entreprises aussi.

"Nous souhaitons créer un acteur européen pour faire face à la montée en puissance des acteurs des pays émergents, comme la Chine, la Turquie ou la Corée, a expliqué le patron du groupe. Le monde de la défense européenne est morcelé, surtout orienté sur des marchés nationaux".

Le patron craint en effet qu’"à moyen terme les acteurs français ne soient éliminés par rapport à leurs concurrents qui ont selon lui une vision hégémonique et qui sont surtout soutenus par leurs Etats".

Pour l’heure, il n’a pas identifié les acteurs avec qui il était prêt à se rapprocher. Mais de sources industrielles il pourrait s’agir d’acteurs allemands et italiens.

Suite de l'article sur Usine Nouvelle

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Consolidation de l'industrie de l'armement :

- 11 juin : RTD acquiert Panhard.

- 14 juin : Rheinmetall acquiert Nexter.

- 19 juin : Thalès acquiert Sagem-DS et EADS acquiert Snecma.

- 2 juillet : Thalès acquiert DCNS.

- 12 juillet : EADS acquiert Dassault Aviation.

- 14 juillet : satisfécit du PR.

:oops: y a plus qu'à.  :lol:

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