At Boeings Demand: RADA CEO Replaced by Ex Air Force Commander

RADA and Boeing are expected to sign the deal in which Boeing will invest $10 million in the Israeli company, in mid-July.

Former Air Force Commander (ret.) General Herzl Boedinger was appointed president and CEO of RADA. Boedinger is replacing Haim Niessenson, retiring from the company after serving as CEO for 18 years. RADA reported that the appointment was compatible with fact that Boedingers cooling off period after retiring from the military, officially ends tomorrow, July 1.

According to estimates, Niessensons retirement from the company is the result of a demand from Boeing during due diligence slated to enable its planned investment in RADA of $10 million. This demand was apparently the reason for the delay in completing the deal with Boeing, first reported in "Globes" several weeks ago.

It now appears the deal will close, and is expected to be signed on the date RADA set for the end of due diligence, mid-July.

It is estimated that negotiation of a Boeing investment in RADA began following Boedingers entry into the company last year. Boedinger joined the company in May 97 as the international marketing manager and president of the US subsidiary.

Boedinger, who was Air Force commander in 1992-96, told "Globes" upon his entry to RADA that "this position is small in contrast to commanding the entire Air Force, but no less honorable. Before I chose RADA, I consulted with a large number of people and reached the conclusion that it could be a comfortable home for me. I know a large portion of the people from serving in the Air Force."

As part of the planned deal with Boeing, agreed upon in principle last March, Boeing is to acquire 42% of RADA shares for $10 million, according to a company value of $23.8 million. When the deal was initially agreed upon, RADA was trading on Wall Street at a market value of $48 million. It is now trading at $25 million.

RADA is engaged in the manufacture of equipment for air combat debriefing and electronics systems for civilian airplanes. Boeings interest in RADA stems primarily from the CATS system the company developed, which serves in inspection of civilian aircraft. The system is currently in use at a number of airlines and aircraft maintenance centers worldwide.

RADAs business has been waning in recent years. The companys Q1 98 financial results, published a few days ago, indicate the company has succeeded in moving into the black, after three consecutive quarters of losses.

Published by Israel's Business Arena June 30, 1998

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