2007-12-23 - Airbus WerksverkäufeEADS selects European bidders for Airbus site sales
Airbus-Werksverkauf: Bieter ausgewählt<br /> EADS and Airbus have selected Latécoère in France, GKN in the UK and MT Aerospace in Germany as preferred bidders for the sites of Méaulte and Saint Nazaire Ville in France, Filton wing component and sub-assembly manufacturing facility in the UK, and Nordenham, Varel and Augsburg in Germany.
The EADS Board of Directors has authorized the management of EADS and Airbus to enter into negotiations with the preferred bidders on remaining issues and the required final due diligence with the target to achieve a final agreement as soon as possible. Substantial progress on the share purchase agreement is expected in the first quarter of 2008. The EADS Board sees this decision as a clear commitment of the management to the Power8 targets.
The partner selection for Filton will allow for an outright sale of the manufacturing part of the site to GKN. For the French and German sites, the agreement with Latécoère and MT Aerospace will take the form of joint ventures, in which Airbus will retain a substantial minority shareholding. Airbus has the option to withdraw completely after three years. The merit of the joint venture structure is to empower Airbus to closely monitor the transition during the period of A350 XWB development and convergence of definition, while reducing substantially EADS' cash outlays. Under the joint venture agreements, Airbus does not intend to interfere in the majority shareholder's management of each plant.
The Airbus plants targeted for divestment employ a total of 7,400 employees, and represent Euro 1.4 billion of Airbus' cost base in 2007. EADS Defence & Security's plant in Augsburg employs 2,000 employees and represents around Euro 450 million of its cost base in 2007. About 70 percent of the Augsburg plant's revenues come from Airbus.
The transactions are expected to be closed in summer 2008, when the sites will be effectively transferred to the new owners. Meanwhile, these sites will continue to produce their parts for the existing Airbus products (A320 Family, A330/A340 Family, and A380) for which Airbus has an order book of some 3,000 aircraft. The finalisation of transactions is subject to agreements on terms and conditions (such as governance issues, exit mechanisms, etc.) and the demonstration of satisfactory financing structures and backing by the buyers.
A350 XWB work packages will now be allocated to the future tier one partners in Filton, Meaulte and St Nazaire Ville, as well as Nordenham, Varel and Augsburg. The pace and schedule of final negotiations with the preferred bidders at this stage is consistent with the ongoing A350 XWB development timeline. The site divestment process for Laupheim continues in parallel.