British Aerospace Plc is disposing of its ?10m-a-year communications division to halt its heavy investment in non-core businesses. Nearly one third of its staff will lose their jobs. Out of 95 staff, some 35 will be made redundant, but the ?10,000m-a-year Farnborough-based company said that restructuring will save the other 60. These will be farmed […]
British Aerospace Plc is disposing of its ?10m-a-year communications division to halt its heavy investment in non-core businesses. Nearly one third of its staff will lose their jobs. Out of 95 staff, some 35 will be made redundant, but the ?10,000m-a-year Farnborough-based company said that restructuring will save the other 60. These will be farmed out to buyers of the individual businesses making up the holding company, British Aerospace Communications Ltd. The decision is in line with the group’s corporate strategy announced at the time of its embarrassing rights issue, which saw the shares plunge right on down below the price of the rights. It will continue to support the Orion Satellite programme, a private satellite system that will compete with Intelsat and Eutelsat (CI No 1,836). Heads of agreement have been signed with Hull City Council’s Kingston Communications Ltd to set up a joint venture company to exploit both companies’ investment in the Orion communications satellite project. The aim is to take advantage of the growing satellite communications market. The deal will be completed in the next few weeks. The joint venture company will gain British Aerospace Communications Ltd’s satellite teleport facilities in Stevenage and access to the Eutelsat transponder that is currently leased to Aerospace. London EC-based Maxat Ltd, a subsidiary of France Cables & Radio, which is part of the France Telecom Group, is to acquire the Business Television and the Services to Broadcasters businesses. Both are dedicated broadcast services linking a company’s headquarters to its different operations via satellite. Alphameric Plc, the Woking, Surrey keyboard manufacturer, is to buy back the customer services division and most of the data broadcasting businesses of Bishopgate Systems Ltd. The rest will go to another unnamed buyer. The data broadcasting services provide a similar service to Business Television, except that telecommunications lines link a closed circuit. Satellite Information Services Ltd, which provides television pictures to betting shops, is buying the Medical Television Network business, which provides television broadcast programmes to hospitals and post-graduate medical centres for doctors. IETC Publications Ltd, which has been working closely with British Aerospace Communications on the development of business television programming, is to acquire the company’s television production activities. A mobile satellite ground station and other hardware will be bought by Brightstar Communications Ltd, a member of Reuter Holdings Plc. The space hardware division, which manufactures satellites, is also under review. Aerospace has not announced its intentions for the division, but a spokesman said that joint venture agreements or a sell-off are most likely.