BAE Systems to Review Technical Units After Buyer-Interest

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BAE Systems Plc said it will review the future of its U.S.-based manpower and services businesses after receiving interest from potential buyers.

The government-facing units, which fall within the London-based company’s U.S. Intelligence and Security division, generated annual revenue of about $1.7 billion last year. Government intelligence agencies recruit the divisions to support counter-terrorism missions and assist identifying and managing other threats, the company said in its annual report.

BAE is among the largest U.S. defense contractors, a business it runs as a wholly separate entity to comply with security clearance. The company has largely refrained from disposals and acquisitions in recent years after a planned merger with Airbus Group NV fell through in 2012.

The units “have generated external interest and a number of enquiries,” the company said in a statement. “As a result, BAE Systems has engaged external advisers to support a strategic assessment of these businesses.”

Morgan Stanley has been hired in the U.K. for the asset review, with Stone Key Partners managing the review in the U.S., a spokesman said.

BAE rose as much as 20.5 pence, or 4.1 percent, to 524 pence in London trading. The stock has gained 9 percent this year, in line with the advance in 2014, valuing the company at about 16.2 billion pounds ($24.5 billion).

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