LUFTHANSA SETTLES BMI TAKEOVER DISPUTE
A legal dispute between Lufthansa and BMI chairman Sir Michael Bishop has been resolved out of court, paving the way for the German flag carrier to take over BMI. Lufthansa is to acquire Bishop's 50%-plus-one-share stake in BMI on 1 July for £48 million ($79 million) through UK-based LHBD, and also pay Bishop's company £175 million to cancel a put option that had been at the centre of the dispute. Once traffic rights are acquired, Lufthansa will raise its share of LHBD from 35% to 100%, giving it 80% of BMI. The remaining 20% is still held by SAS Group.
€300 MILLION LOAN FOR CFM56 SUCCESSOR
The European Investment Bank is to loan up to €300 million ($420 million) to Safran towards a €600 million project to develop a new generation of cleaner, quieter aircraft engines to replace the CFM56, jointly produced with General Electric, for single-aisle commercial jets with 110-210 seats. Separately, the joint venture company formed last year by GE's Middle River Aircraft Systems thrust reversers and nacelles business and Safran's Aircelle operation is to develop nacelle systems for new CFM engines.
WAHA TO TAKE 50% OF AERCAP'S A320 OPERATION
Middle Eastern lessor Waha Capital is to pick up a 50% shareholding in AerCap's specialised Airbus A320 operation, AerVenture, a stake previously owned by Kuwait's LoadAir. AerCap and LoadAir had equally owned AerVenture but earlier this year AerCap acquired the entire company after LoadAir failed to meet a deadline to make a capital injection.
VOLVO AERO CLEARED FOR GENX STATE AID
Volvo Aero has secured European Commission approval for Swedish state aid amounting to SKr304 million ($38 million) for research and development of General Electric GEnx powerplant components. According to Brussels, the Swedish government is supporting the project, through a repayable advance, to "reduce the risk" linked to programmes where "returns on investment tend to be uncertain and slow".
BAE IN SEARCH FOR HEAD OF US OPERATION
BAE Systems' US subsidiary has appointed former US Marine Corps general and current board member Anthony Zinni to be chief executive and president while the company searches for a permanent successor to Walt Havenstein, who has accepted the chief executive job at SAIC. Havenstein's tenure has seen BAE's US operations grow to become one of the Pentagon's largest contractors, spanning a diverse field of air, land and naval products.
WELSH BOOST FOR AIRBUS WING WORK
The Welsh assembly has granted Airbus £28.6 million ($47.2 million) towards the development of composite capability and skill development in Wales. The cash will boost Airbus's local training initiatives and contribute to its £100 million investment in a composite wing assembly line building at its Broughton facility.
UK SUPPLY CHAIN EFFORT GOES DOWN UNDER
The Australian Aerospace Industry Forum has become the first trade group outside the UK to adopt the Society of British Aerospace Companies' Supply Chains for the Twenty-first Century initiative to improve supply chain performance. SC21 was launched in 2006 and has 500 UK-based member companies.