Thursday, January 12, 2006

Qinetiq and bin Laden and Bush and Blair

12 January 2006

The UK government is to sell its majority stake in defence group Qinetiq and float the business on the stock exchange.

Qinetiq is currently 56% owned by the Ministry of Defence, 31% by US private equity firm Carlyle Group, and 13% by its managers and other staff members.

Qinetiq's clients range from the Pentagon to engine firm Rolls-Royce and credit card company Barclaycard.

The move is expected to be controversial because of the huge profits that Carlyle Group stand to make through the sale.

The private equity group bought its 31% stake from the Ministry of Defence in 2002 for £42.2m, but it is now worth £341m.

The Sunday Mirror speculated that Tony Blair would join the Carlyle Group.

"The Carlyle Group are investors in various military defence companies, including the semi privatised Qinetiq, which sells British Government sponsored military research to the private sector.

"It will be worth watching if multi-million pound contracts are let by the New Labour Government to Qinetiq whilst Tony Blair is Prime Minister or afterwards.

"What role will the controversial Lord Drayson, who was appointed by Tony Blair as Defence Procurement Minister, play in such contracts ?"


The bin Laden family and the Bush family have had investments in the Carlyle Group.

From 9 11 Review:

"George H.W. Bush travels to Saudi Arabia on behalf of the privately owned Carlyle Group, the 11th largest defense contractor in the U.S. While there he meets privately with the bin Laden family." Source: Wall Street Journal, Sept. 27, 2001.

On 9 11 2001 , 'Frank Carlucci of the Carlyle group was involved in another meeting with representatives of the bin Laden family'.,3604,1579753,00.html

Terry Macalister, in The Guardian, 28 September 2005, wrote about the UK Ministry of Defence and the Carlyle Group.

Blair is expected to press ahead with the privatisation of QinetiQ, the technology part of the Ministry of Defence...The chairman of QinetiQ is former General Motors and executive Sir John Chisholm.

Independent industry expert Francis Tusa, editor of the London-based newsletter Defence Analysis, said: "I can't imagine the US, Germany or France selling off the crown jewels like this, can you? There is an awful lot of specialist knowledge and it has come from public money - defence contracts."

QinetiQ was launched in July 2001, headed by Sir John Chisholm as chief executive.

In 2002 US private equity firm Carlyle took a 31% holding in QinetiQ for £42m.

Sir John Chisholm could see his initial investment of £129,000 now worth an astonishing £22m.

Carlyle holds its stake in QinetiQ through various special-purpose vehicles registered in Guernsey.


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