As the putative merger between British aerospace and defence giant BAE Systems and its European counterpart EADS remains on ice due to security concerns of the U.S. government, an American suitor is said to be entering the fray.
Sources close to the leadership of media conglomerate Time Warner say the firm is hurriedly preparing a bid for BAE, saying it senses a "historic opportunity for synergies" between the two firms.
An executive at the firm explains that Time Warner is hoping to replicate the success General Electric has had with its "media-to-missles" model of industrial organization, while helping BAE to allay concerns about its national origins:
"We can give BAE the two things they need most: American citizenship and an advanced conflct generation platform to raise demand for their products."
"Imagine the possibilities. Our media properties can drum outrage to go to war in Yemen or wherever. And then our defence properties can supply all the drones, missiles, airplanes, etc. that are needed to defeat the enemy. Its a win-win."
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Our source says a complete bid will be offered by next week, and expect to offer BAE shareholders a 85% premium on today's closing price, valuing the company at close to £20 billion or $32 billion.
The bid is expected to be 80% cash and 20% equity, with financing coming from cash reserves and a consortuum of large banks.
Asked how the company could have a prepared a bid so quickly, the executive explains that Time Warner is always on the lookout for a good deal:
"We have a whole team of people doing round the clock due diligence on the 1000 largest companies in the world. You never know when an opportunity might present itself."
Time Warner is famous for executing the most disasterous merger of all time - the linkup between itself and AOL a the height of the dot com bubble.