LA JOLLA — Despite competition from some corporate "big boys," Signal Cos. still wants to add Hughes Aircraft to its high-tech fold.
"We have an interest in Hughes . . . (but) there are some pretty big boys playing in that particular playpen," Chairman and Chief Executive Forrest N. Shumway told 450 shareholders at Signal's annual meeting Tuesday.
One of those competitors is Allied Corp., which Monday added its name to the list of Hughes suitors. In addition, Ford Motor, General Motors, Boeing and General Electric reportedly have expressed interest.
Despite the competition, Signal "will not be stampeded" into buying another company, Shumway said.
Signal, which was built through acquisitions, has nearly $1.9 billion in cash on hand and a $1-billion line of credit.
The company has felt pressure from stock analysts, bankers and investment companies to complete an acquisition, Shumway said.
He acknowledged that his company "obviously isn't getting a rate of return" to equal the return that a successful acquisition could generate and told shareholders that, "hopefully, it won't take too long" for Signal to make its next acquisition.