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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

BAE close to unit sale as three firms bid-sources, (BAES), (NYSE: GE), (NYSE: ETN)

BAE Systems Plc (BAES.L) has asked three bidders for its Platform Solutions unit, including General Electric Co (GE.N), to submit their "best and final" offers this week, a source close to the British defense contractor said on Tuesday. GE, diversified industrial company Eaton Corp (ETN.N) and private equity firm Warburg Pincus [WP.UL] all put in bids in late December for the BAE business that makes aerospace parts including aircraft engine controls and that could fetch more than $1.6 billion, two other people familiar with the matter said. The bidding round in December was intended to be final, but with three offers on the table, BAE Systems went back to the suitors and asked them to "sharpen their pencils," the first source close to the company said.