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British Aerospace

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
British Aerospace plc
Company type
Founded29 April 1977; 47 years ago (1977-04-29)
Defunct30 November 1999; 24 years ago (1999-11-30)
FateMerged with Marconi Electronic Systems
SuccessorBAE Systems
United Kingdom
Websitebae.co.uk (archived)

British Aerospace plc (BAe) was a British aircraft, munitions and defence-systems manufacturing company that was formed in 1977. Its head office was at Warwick House in the Farnborough Aerospace Centre in Farnborough, Hampshire.[1] It bought Marconi Electronic Systems, the defence electronics and naval shipbuilding subsidiary of the General Electric Company, in 1999 to form BAE Systems.

Formation and privatisation

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The company has its origins in the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act 1977, which called for the nationalisation and merger of the British Aircraft Corporation, Hawker Siddeley Aviation, Hawker Siddeley Dynamics and Scottish Aviation. On 29 April 1977, the new entity was formed in the United Kingdom as a statutory corporation.

Under the British Aerospace Act 1980 (c. 26), on 1 January the statutory corporation was transferred a public limited company (plc), under the name "British Aerospace Public Limited Company", on 2 January 1981.[2] BAe was privatised. In February 1981, 51.6% shares of the company were sold. The public sale was 3.5 times subscribed. At the end of the first day's trading, share prices were 14% above the original offer price.[3] In May 1985 the other 48.4% shares were sold; this sale was 5.4 times subscribed and the first day closing price was 11% above the initial offer price.[3] The British Government maintained a £1 golden share, which allowed it to veto foreign control of the board or company.[4]


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  1. "Sites." British Aerospace. Retrieved 31 August 2011. "British Aerospace plc Warwick House, Farnborough Aerospace Centre, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 6YU."
  2. Certificate of Incorporation on Re-Registration as Public Limited Company
  3. 3.0 3.1 "British Aerospace UK Heritage".
  4. "Written Answers — British Aerospace". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 17 December 1980. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2008. col. 179