Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Big Aviation Merger Takes Effect Today Top Leaders to Address Employees Via Satellite

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Big Aviation Merger Takes Effect Today Top Leaders to Address Employees Via Satellite

Article excerpt

While St. Louis slipped off to sleep Thursday night, McDonnell Douglas Corp. slipped into history.

At 12:01 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time - the first minute of the first day of August - McDonnell's $16.3 billion merger with Boeing Co. became official.

Despite obstacles from European antitrust regulators, the companies met their ambitious target date for getting the deal done.

McDonnell and Boeing filed the last of the required paperwork Thursday with regulators in Maryland, the state where McDonnell was incorporated.

McDonnell's shares traded for the final time on the New York Stock Exchange, closing at $76.69.

The price when the bell rang represented a 47.5 percent increase from Dec. 15, the day the deal was announced.

Chairman John F. McDonnell, the son of founder James S. McDonnell, worked his last day at the family business, which grew to be one of the nation's 100 largest.

McDonnell retired, as previously announced, after 35 years of full-time employment.

At a special meeting last Friday, he said a merger with Boeing offered the best future for customers, employees and investors.

"We are surrendering our independence to become part of something greater - a new company that has the potential to become the . . . pre-eminent aerospace company in the history of aviation," he said.

McDonnell is the world's top maker of military aircraft. It employs about 23,000 people in the St. Louis area. Boeing, which is based in Seattle, is the world's biggest maker of commercial aircraft.

The combined entity will begin operations Monday as the "new" Boeing.

McDonnell's aircraft plant north of Lambert Field will continue to operate over the weekend, name change notwithstanding.

Boeing has been busy planning events for Day One, which will feature a live address to workers by Phil Condit, chairman and chief executive, and Harry C. Stonecipher, who will be president and chief operating officer.

Condit and Stonecipher will use the National Air and Space Museum in Washington as a backdrop. …

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