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Mon, Nov 03, 2008

EADS Reaches Final Agreement With Daher On Socata

French Manufacturing Group Will Take Majority Stake In Planemaker

An ongoing attempt by EADS to divest itself of general aviation planemaker Socata appears to have borne fruit. On Monday, the European aerospace consortium announced a final agreement has been reached with the Daher group, for Daher to take a majority interest in EADS Socata.

Under terms of the deal, Daher would acquire a 70% majority share in EADS Socata. As ANN reported, EADS opened talks with Daher in July, three months after word first surfaced EADS was looking at a buyer for the manufacturer.

EADS Socata is best known for its hot-selling TBM 850 turboprop. EADS hoped the selloff would help recoup massive losses brought about by delays to the Airbus A380 and A350 XWB programs.

"This Daher-Socata association will allow the creation of a leading European industrial player in the domain of aerostructures and open up new development prospects in general aviation, including for the new Socata aircraft project", said Jean-Michel Léonard, CEO of EADS Socata.

"Today we salute the success of this association, the result of more than a year's work between the management teams of the two companies to form a major player in Aerostructures, Business Aviation and Services," added Louis Gallois, CEO of EADS, after the signing of the agreement was announced. "It is also a great satisfaction to have had the support of the majority of the social partners, the Works Councils of Socata and Daher, the Central Council of EADS France, and the personnel and management of Socata, who have clearly understood the strategic importance for the future of the company."

Daher has interests in the aerospace, nuclear and automotive industries. Last year, EADS Socata partnered with the French concern to bid for work on the upcoming Airbus A350 XWB.

Before the acquisition takes effect, it must be submitted to the approval of the competent competition authorities.

FMI: www.socata.eads.net



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