Putting Out The "For Sale" Signs At Two German, One French
With more than 10
"interested parties" reportedly on the table, including strategic
and financial investors, negotiations for the sale of three Airbus
plants will commence this month, reports Forbes.
The sales are the result of EADS' Airbus unit's Power8
restructuring program... which not only will put six full or
partial factories on the block, but also includes the elimination
of 10,000 European jobs, as ANN has been reporting.
EADS is also looking for investors for its core production
plants in Meaulte, France; Nordenham, Germany; and Filton in the
UK, according to an Airbus spokesman.
French daily La Tribune said Airbus was holding talks with
French equipment manufacturers Lacatoere, Zodiac, and Daher over
the sale of production sites under the Power8 restructuring
The paper said, without citing sources, that other foreign
groups are also interested in buying the factories, including
Germany's Diehl, GKN in the UK, Alenia in Italy, and Spirit in the
According to La Tribune, Airbus hopes to sign preliminary sale
agreements with the selected buyers by the end of June or beginning
of July, setting the terms of the deal.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has also been mentioned as a
likely candidate to buy or partner with one of the Airbus
manufacturing sites, according to industry sources.
The Middle East's newly-formed aerospace company declined to
comment specifically on its interest in Airbus' sites but said,
"Our growth strategy includes organic growth and growth through
partnerships and potential acquisitions. As such, we are routinely
and actively surveying the marketplace for opportunities."
The company also said that "at any given time, we are engaged in
various stages of discussion with other companies about
opportunities to work and grow together."
Analysts see Airbus sites as a likely target for DAE as it seeks
to advance its manufacturing presence.
Richard Aboulafia, vice-president analysis of the Teal Group,
says he is "convinced" that private equity investors will be
involved in the change of ownership of Airbus' sites because of the
levels of investment needed.
He added, however, that DAE could be a feasible alternative to
provide the cash Airbus needs to bring its manufacturing strategy
back on track.
"I can't help but think of the term deus ex machina -- it's an
almost impossibly perfect resolution, if DAE is willing to provide
a major equity injection," he said.
"It is still unclear whether DAE wants to be a traditional
aerospace undertaking or private equity with another flavour," he
said, adding that in either case, an agreement with Airbus would
"DAE wants companies with an established management team that
can take the business forward. It's a long shot, but they are
serious buyers," said another analyst.