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BID FOR LITTON CALLED UNLIKELY DESPITE TALK.

Byline: Ben Sullivan Daily News Staff Writer

Rumors are flying fast and furious about a potential bid by General Dynamics Corp. to buy Woodland Hills-based Litton Industries Inc., but at least one analyst says those reports are off target.

``General Dynamics won't buy Litton because there's no synergy,'' George Shapiro, defense industry analyst for Salomon Bros., said Wednesday.

Litton and General Dynamics do compete for lucrative U.S. Navy shipbuilding contracts, Shapiro said. And Litton's Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi is generally acknowledged as a better-tooled, newer facility than General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works in Maine.

Mothballing Bath might be financial justification for a merger, Shapiro said, but politically ``you just couldn't do it.''

With 7,300 workers, Bath is Maine's largest private employer, Shapiro said, and any plan to close it would be a political nonstarter.

Spokeswomen for both Litton and General Dynamics declined to comment Wednesday on the possibility of a deal. But Litton spokeswoman Kathleen Wailes said the rumors, first reported last week in Business Week magazine and later picked up by a Maine newspaper, likely were sparked by the recent purchase of Northrop Grumman Corp. by Lockheed-Martin Corp.

``Whenever you have big mergers like that, these rumors start to surface,'' Wailes said.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 17, 1997
Words:205
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