September 13, 2012 / 5:56 PM / 5 years ago

General Dynamics does not see spate of top-tier defense mergers

WASHINGTON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - The CEO of General Dynamics Corp, maker of nuclear submarines and business jets, said on Thursday he did not expect a spate of top-tier mergers in the weapons business after Wednesday’s news about a possible tie-up of major European defense companies EADS and BAE Systems Plc.

General Dynamics Chief Executive Jay Johnson told a Morgan Stanley investor conference that the possible merger of EADS and BAE reflected the difficult economic situation in Europe, and the continued importance of the U.S. weapons market.

He declined comment on what the merger would mean for the U.S. defense market, saying he had not yet had time to study the issue.

He said he fully expected more “opportunities for defense acquisitions” once the outlook for the U.S. defense budget became more certain, but the action would be focused mainly on small to medium-sized companies, not the big prime contractors.

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