BAE Systems Logo – BAE Systems plc is the fourth largest military contractor in the world and a commercial aircraft builder. BAE is a British company based in Farnborough, Hampshire and interests worldwide, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc.. BAE was formed on 30 November 1999 with the merger of British Aerospace (BAe) and Marconi Electronic Systems (MES), the defense subsidiary of General Electric (GEC). As a result of the merger, BAE Systems is the successor of much of the most famous aircraft and British defense systems.
The merger British Aerospace / Marconi Electronic Systems was agreed on 27 April 1999. MES was bought by BAe for £ 7,700 million. Saw it coming that BAe intended to merge with Germany’s DASA to form a pan-European aviation giant, however BAe finally joined the defense electronics subsidiary of GEC. The attraction of MES may well have been Tracor, bought by GEC in 1998 and was the largest purchase in the U.S. arms market by a European company so far. Following the merger BAe / MES, DASA joined Aerospatiale to create the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), a group that later would join the Spanish House following an agreement signed in December 1999.
BAE Systems inherited the “special” distribution of the shares that had been established when British Aerospace was privatized, that is, the golden share of £ 1 held by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. This action seeks to prevent changes to certain articles of the statutes of the company without authorization of the Minister. The articles in question require that any foreigner or foreigners can own more than 15% of the shares or control the majority of the board, plus that the general manager and president of BAE Systems must be British citizens.