In 1990 GEC-Marconi acquired Ferranti Defence Systems in a £310million deal which in addition to the UK sites also included three companies in Ferranti’s Italia group. The company was renamed GEC Ferranti and the businesses acquired accounted for 22% of Ferranti’s assets and 27% of its £927million turnover. Sir Derek Alun Jones (Chairman of Ferranti International) felt that the sale made Ferranti less dependent upon military markets with the aim of ultimately achieving a 50:50 split between military and civil. At the time it was felt inevitable that Ferranti would succumb to the wave of mergers in Europe as the industry contracted to three or four main players in the defence electronics field.
The GEC Ferranti business later became part of GEC Marconi Avionics (GMAv) and in turn was acquired in 2000 by BAE Systems (BAE Systems Avionics).
The Crewe Toll site changed hands repeatedly, from Ferranti to GEC-Ferranti, then GEC-Marconi, then BAE Systems, then SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems, then SELEX Galileo and finally Leonardo. The South Gyle site became part of the BAE Systems Displays Group with Rochester but in 2005 the site was closed with just a very few employees relocating to Rochester while the majority moved to the Crewe Toll site.