Hughes to Buy Alliant's Torpedo, Sonar Business

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Hughes Electronics Corp. said Monday that it has agreed to purchase the torpedo and military sonar businesses of Alliant Techsystems Inc. for $141 million in cash.

Alliant's Marine Systems Group will be part of the naval and maritime systems division of Hughes Aircraft Co., a unit of Los Angeles-based Hughes Electronics, which is owned by General Motors Corp.

"The Marine Systems Group provides a very good fit with the existing product lines of Hughes' naval systems," said John Weaver, executive vice president of Hughes Electronics and president and chief operating officer of Hughes Aircraft.

"Both torpedoes and undersea surveillance are core Hughes technologies, and the addition of Marine Systems will make the Hughes team more competitive, both in the domestic and international markets."

The acquisition, however, appears to defy conventional wisdom on Wall Street, which holds that GM is so eager to get out of defense that it has not been entertaining any deals that would add to its business. The acquisition is subject to government approval and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 1997.

Based in Mukilteo, Wash., Alliant's marine division has about 650 employees in six states.

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