Raytheon Gets Its Wallet Out

JUST ABOUT EVERYONE ELSE in defense electronics has merged, acquired, or consolidated. On Apr. 3, Raytheon finally followed suit, proposing a $2.3 billion buyout of E-Systems, the nation's leading maker of top-secret spy equipment. The purchase will add $3 billion in debt to Raytheon's books. But Chairman Dennis Picard says he remains in acquisition mode. Next on his list: a nondefense business that will help him diversify. Picard isn't the only one on a shopping spree. Consolidation has left the defense electronics industry with just four major players, all with sales of $10 billion or more. And across industries, U.S. mergers and acquisitions were up 35% in the first quarter of 1995 from a year earlier. Wall Street bankers say the dealmaking shows no signs of slowing.

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