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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS : ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY : French Company Buys Up Sextant

September 03, 1999|Bloomberg News

A European company that owns a 51% stake in Sextant In-Flight Systems has acquired the remaining 49% of the Irvine-based maker of video entertainment systems for airlines. Paris-based Thomson-CSF, Europe's biggest defense electronics maker, said Thursday that one of its units bought the 49% stake from Florida-based B/E Aerospace Inc. for up to $125 million. B/E Aerospace said the transaction will allow it to focus on its other businesses and pay down debt.

B/E, which is based in Wellington, Fla., will provide marketing, product and other technical consulting services as part of the sale.

In January, B/E Aerospace sold a 51% stake in Sextant, which also is the majority partner in Live TV, a venture with Harris Corp that makes direct-broadcast satellite-television systems.

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