BAE North American Aerospace Units Up for Sale

BAE Systems
BAE Systems

BAE Systems PLC (BAESY), the world's second-largest defense company by revenue, has put units of its North American commercial aerospace business up for sale, an auction that could net up to $2 billion, according toThe Wall Street Journal.

One unit reportedly up for sale makes aircraft-engine controls for General Electric (GE). The other units include a commercial avionics business and a division that makes hybrid propulsion systems for buses and trucks, the Journal said. Those units are grouped together under "platform solutions," a business that sells various control systems used in commercial and military aircraft and ground vehicles.

The units collectively have about $200 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, said the Journal, citing sources who said BAE could seek between $1.6 billion and $2 billion for them.

"BAE's financial advisers, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co., have sought initial offers for the assets by next week," reports the Journal. Interested buyers for some or all of the units may include Rockwell Collins, Woodward Governor or Moog, as well as private-equity firms such as Warburg Pincus, Carlyle Group, according to the Journal.

BAE Systems had $36.2 billion in sales last year, making it the world's second-largest defense company by revenue. The company is headquartered in England but has a large U.S. business through its BAE Systems subsidiary.

BAE officials have so far declined to comment.