Mercury, which has a market value of roughly $440 million, offers
big data processing systems, software and services to companies
including Boeing, Lockheed Martin Corp <LMT.N>, Northrop Grumman
Corp <NOC.N> and Raytheon Co <RTN.N>.
A move by Boeing to buy one of its suppliers would allow the company
to save costs and increase its footprint in commercial aerospace
components. It would also allow the Chicago-based company to gain
access to Mercury's microprocessor business, which can be used on
unmanned aerial vehicles, according to one of the people.
Mercury is a major supplier to Argon ST, the defense manufacturer
that Boeing acquired in 2010.
The auction is still in its early stages and there is no guarantee
that Boeing will proceed with a binding offer for Mercury, cautioned
the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is not
While no other prime defense contractors expressed buyout interest,
a few private equity firms are involved in the sale process after
making preliminary offers recently, the second person added.
Mercury Systems, which hired Evercore Partners Inc <EVR.N> for the
sale, is seeking around $500 million, that person said. Mergermarket
first reported on March 7, citing industry chatter, that the company
was working with Evercore to explore a sale.
[to top of second column]
A Boeing spokesman said that the company did not comment on rumors
of potential mergers, acquisitions, divestitures or joint ventures.
Mercury Systems was not immediately available for comment.
Founded in 1981 and based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Mercury
Systems reported a net loss of $1.0 million and revenue of $53.1
million in its fiscal second quarter, which ended December 31, 2013.
Mercury shares closed down 1.2 percent at $13.23 on Thursday.
(Reporting by Nicola Leske and Mike Stone;
editing by Soyoung Kim
and Phil Berlowitz)
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