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Hughes Electronics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hughes Electronics Corporation was formed in 1985 when Hughes Aircraft was sold by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to General Motors for $5.2 billion. The surviving parts of Hughes Electronics are today known as the DirecTV Group.

Hughes Electronics Corporation
FatePurchased by News Corporation, and rebranded as The DirecTV Group
SuccessorThe DirecTV Group
Founded1985; 35 years ago (1985)
Defunct2003; 17 years ago (2003)
ParentGeneral Motors

On June 5, 1985 General Motors was announced as the winner of a secretive five month, sealed-bid auction. Other bidders included Ford Motor Company and Boeing.[1] The purchase was completed on December 20, 1985, for an estimated $5.2 billion, $2.7 billion in cash and the rest in 50 million shares of GM Class H stock.[2]

On December 31, 1985, General Motors merged Hughes Aircraft with its Delco Electronics unit to form Hughes Electronics Corporation, an independent subsidiary. The group then consisted of: Delco Electronics Corporation and Hughes Aircraft Company.

Display of a Hughes satellite inside the Space Shuttle Explorer.
Display of a Hughes satellite inside the Space Shuttle Explorer.

In August of 1992 Hughes Aircraft completed its purchase of General Dynamics' missile businesses for $450 million.[3] This brought the Tomahawk Cruise Missile, Advanced Cruise Missile, Standard missile, Stinger missile, Phalanx Close-in weapon system, and Rolling Airframe Missile into Hughes' portfolio.

In 1994 Hughes Electronics introduced DirecTV, the world's first high-powered DBS. In 1995 Hughes Electronic's Hughes Space and Communications division became the largest supplier of commercial satellites. Also in 1995 the group purchased Magnavox Electronic Systems from the Carlyle Group. In 1996 Hughes Electronics and PanAmSat agree to merge their fixed satellite services into a new publicly held company, also called PanAMSat with Hughes Electronics as majority shareholder.

In 1995, Hughes Aircraft sold its Technology Products Division (automated wire and die bonder) to an investor group led by Citicorp and incorporated the division as Palomar Technologies.[4] In 2008, Citicorp sold the bonder division to the current management team at Palomar Technologies.[5]

In 1997 GM transferred Delco Electronics to its Delphi Automotive Systems business. Later that year the assets of Hughes Aircraft were sold to Raytheon for $9.5 billion.[6] The remaining companies remained under the Hughes Electronics name and within GM.

In 2000, The Boeing Company purchased three units within Hughes Electronics Corp.: Hughes Space and Communications Co., Hughes Electron Dynamics, and Spectrolab Inc., in addition to Hughes Electronics' interest in HRL, the company's primary research laboratory. The four joined Boeing Satellite Systems, a company subsidiary, later becoming the Satellite Development Center, part of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. [7]

In 2003 the remaining parts of Hughes Electronics (DirecTV, DirecTV Latin America, PanAmSat, Hughes Network Systems) were purchased by News Corporation from GM and renamed The DirecTV Group.


Hughes logo, adopted during the period (1997-2000) between the sales of portions of the company to Raytheon and Boeing. Each subsidiary of Hughes Space and Communications Company placed their name at the bottom of the logo.
Hughes logo, adopted during the period (1997-2000) between the sales of portions of the company to Raytheon and Boeing. Each subsidiary of Hughes Space and Communications Company placed their name at the bottom of the logo.


  1. ^ Potts, Mark (1985-06-06). "GM to Buy Hughes Aircraft; Offer Provides Windfall for Medical Institute". Washington Post. The Washington Post.
  2. ^ "G.M. Purchase Of Hughes". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Reuters. 1985-12-23. Archived from the original on 2014-05-02. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
  3. ^ "Missile completion". Flight International. Reed Business Publishing. 1992-09-02.
  4. ^ "Hughes-Palomar History".
  5. ^ "Palomar Technologies Achieves Management Buy-out". Archived from the original on 29 April 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  6. ^ Chuter, Andy (1998-01-07). "Raytheon Completes Hughes Merger". Flight International. Reed Business Information Ltd. p. 15. Archived from the original on 2014-05-02. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2010-06-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Hughes Companies... Joining the Boeing Family
This page was last edited on 18 July 2020, at 01:17
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