Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Merger Teams Work Quietly Few Overlapping Areas in Melding of Mac, Boeing

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Merger Teams Work Quietly Few Overlapping Areas in Melding of Mac, Boeing

Article excerpt

The aerospace giants McDonnell Douglas Corp. and Boeing Co. are approaching their epic merger just as they would an important jetliner project, assembling a crack team to come up with a winning design.

The transition team's blueprint will help determine the early success of the merger and will directly or indirectly affect the jobs of the 204,000 workers at the companies.

McDonnell and Boeing say fairness will be the driving force in the planning process. The 35-member transition team began its work Feb. 10, meeting in St. Louis to go over its objectives. The three main goals, in sequential order, are: Win antitrust clearance for the merger from the United States and the European Union. Decide what must be done to make sure business continues uninterrupted from the moment the two companies merge. Determine how to integrate the companies after the merger. McDonnell rocked St. Louis and the aerospace world in December, announcing that it would become part of Boeing, its Seattle-based rival. The merger would combine McDonnell's power in military aircraft with Boeing's might in commercial aircraft. Although the $14 billion-plus deal still must be approved by regulators, industry experts say it should gain clearance with few modifications. Phil Condit, Boeing's chairman and chief executive, said Friday he thought the merger could be completed by August. Condit said during a stop in Paris that he had met with the European Union's competition commissioner earlier in the week and thought that body would wrap up its inquiry with no negative findings. "I think that both the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. and the European Commission are on similar timetables that will probably lead to a July-August approval and closure," he told Bloomberg News. The "horizontal" nature of the McDonnell-Boeing merger - a pairing of complementary businesses rather than a "vertical" stacking of competing businesses - meant there were few areas of overlap to alarm regulators, he said. …

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