BAE Systems, the global aerospace defence company, has launched a campaign aimed at the political elite of Washington as it seeks to merge with European aerospace rival EADS in a £29 billion deal.
The deal could see the merged company rival America’s Boeing, but standing in the way is the caution by some that the deal would cause problems for American defence projects.
The Washington campaign has been led by head of BAE’s North America Operations Linda Hudson, who was one of the biggest contributers to the BAE Systems’ PAC (political action committee) donation of $602,500. This donation went to 61 per cent of Republican politicians, with 14 of the 21 Congregasional armed services subcommittee receiving campaign financing.
Defence ministers from the UK, France and Germany have also been involved in the discussions as they hold ‘golden shares’ in the company which permits the blocking of any deal.
On its website, BAE says of its lobbying activity: "In the defence and security industry, lobbying is often closely related to acquisitions because governments and their agencies are the direct customers for our products and services. This means that our lobbying activities include informing politicians or government officials about our products and services, or advocating solutions to programmes that are important to our customers and end users in the armed forces and other government organisations."