Lockheed asks FTC to OK sale of SETA Services Sale was a condition of its purchase of Loral; price was not disclosed


WASHINGTON -- Lockheed Martin Corp. asked the Federal Trade Commission to approve the sale of a unit it was required to sell to gain antitrust approval for its $9.1 billion purchase of Loral Corp.

Lockheed said it plans to sell SETA Services Operations to Washington Consulting Group, a Bethesda-based company that provides technical consulting services to federal agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration.

The sale price wasn't disclosed.

It was SETA Services' relationship with the FAA that led the FTC to request the divestiture after the Loral purchase.

SETA Services contracts with the FAA to assess bidders for air traffic control systems and Loral is a major supplier of such systems to that agency.

The FTC said that, without the divestiture, Loral could have gained confidential information about its rivals.

The world's largest aerospace and defense contractor asked the FTC to approve the sale "on an expedited basis" to ensure that services to the FAA not be interrupted, according to its filing with the FTC.

Lockheed is required to sell the unit within six months of the April 15 signing of its consent agreement with the FTC.

Bethesda-based Lockheed said in its FTC filing that it spoke to six to eight potential buyers over five weeks before deciding on Washington Consulting in mid-June.

Terms of the transaction were negotiated with Lockheed, Washington Consulting and the FAA in June and July.

Revenue for Washington Consulting, which is majority owned by a single shareholder, totals about $20 million a year.

In mid-April, the FTC voted unanimously to approve the acquisition of Loral by Lockheed, after the parties agreed to certain restrictions that protected competition for satellites, fighter aircraft and military contracts.

The purchase was completed several days later.

Pub Date: 8/17/96

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