Search results

Abstract only
Volume 3 Management, mergers and fraud 1987–1993
Author: John Wilson

The final volume of this detailed history of Ferranti covers the last seven years of its operating existence, starting with the 1987 merger with ISC and culminating in a humiliating demise consequent upon GEC’s 1993 decision to withdraw its bid for what by then was an unprofitable rump. Extensive attention is paid to the way in which ISC evolved under James Guerin’s stewardship, providing insights into the shady world of international covert arms dealing. While in 1987 Ferranti purchased what was regarded as a highly profitable defence electronics business, by 1989 it was apparent that ISC’s net worth was marginal, creating an accounting hole in what by then was Ferranti International from which it never recovered, in spite of highly imaginative strategies enacted by a new chief executive, Eugene Anderson. The book provides detailed insights into international mergers, corporate governance issues and defence electronics that highlight the dangers associated with competing in one of the fastest-moving industries of that era.

John Wilson

fed directly into the price of its shares traded on the London Stock Exchange. Although immediately after the Falkland Islands conflict with Argentina defence stocks had experienced a significant boom, by the mid-1980s there were widespread concerns within the City over the long-term trends in defence electronics.55 This was why by September 1987 the Ferranti 10 pence ordinary share was trading at 137 pence, compared to an equivalent of 162 pence in July 1982.56 Although Figure 1.1 has already revealed that the firm’s return on capital employed was far superior in

in Ferranti: A History
Abstract only
John Wilson

, internationalisation and the use of corporate jets. Using what was widely acknowledged as a charismatic personality, combined with a very strong work ethic and highly religious orientation, Guerin aspired to running a multinational defence electronics firm that would fund his personal interests. It was a vision that he would eventually implement at his own corporation, because unbowed by the Hamilton experiences, and recognising in Lancaster a sound base for his ambitions, in 1971 Guerin borrowed $150,000 from a local bank, Meridian, recruited four of his colleagues from Hamilton

in Ferranti: A History
John Wilson

form of James B. Christian. Guerin had not only invested in Chem-Con, his brother-in-law, A STEP TOO FAR? MERGER WITH ISC 89 Carl E. Jacobson, had also been given a senior management position at the defence electronics firm. By 1987, however, both Christian and Jacobson had been indicted by the Justice Department for defrauding the government of $16 million and bribing US Navy purchasing officials.46 This not only initiated a two-year investigation into Chem-Con’s activities, but also precipitated Jacobson’s flight to Chile in a failed attempt to avoid prosecution

in Ferranti: A History