Probe threatens Lockheed-Titan

A Justice Department probe has put Lockheed Martin Corp.'s planned takeover of Titan Corp. at risk.

The Justice probe concerns allegations that consultants for Titan made improper payments or provided items of value in possible violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating.

Lockheed Martin and Titan are reviewing records to learn if payments Titan made to its consultants were properly recorded, according to statements both companies issued Friday.

However, a deadline is looming while the issues remain unresolved. The Titan stockholders' meeting for consideration of the merger is scheduled for March 16. If the results of the probes are not final by then, "Lockheed Martin will need to determine whether the conditions to the merger have been satisfied," according to a statement. "If the merger is not completed by March 31, 2004, either Lockheed Martin or Titan may terminate the merger agreement."

Titan, based in San Diego, provides products for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. It also offers enterprise information technology and homeland security products and services. The company, which sells almost exclusively to government customers, reported sales of $1.78 billion in 2003.

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