The formation of a new Airbus Integrated Company (AIC) is back on track after an exchange of financial data between the partner companies, 20% shareholder BAE Systems has revealed.

BAE says data was exchanged with European Aeronautic Defense and Space (EADS) partners (Aerospatiale Matra, DaimlerChrysler Aerospace and CASA) last month. The company's chief operating officer, Mike Turner, says BAE will press for a maximum share in the AIC (which has replaced the Single Corporate Entity ), but "we probably cannot be seen to have more than 20%". He says there "are other ways of realising" the size of BAE's stake.

Turner says BAE is reluctant to form an AIC and surrender its Airbus veto until launch funding and workshare for the A3XX is agreed. Under the current structure BAE is able to veto major Airbus decisions. Turner says Airbus president Noel Forgeard will report on potential A3XX customers in June. Several firm customers have already been secured .

Chief executive John Weston, meanwhile, confirms that BAE hopes to be selected by Italy's Finmeccanica as a partner for Alenia Aerospace. EADS has also submitted a bid offering a deal built on a fighter joint venture.

BAE chairman Sir Richard Evans says: "We won't do something stupid just to get the Alenia business, but we have something very special on the table." Weston revealed that BAE is likely to bid for the Lockheed Martin controls and electronic warfare businesses.

BAE reported sales for 1999 of £8.93 billion ($14.24 billion), including joint ventures and a month of Marconi Electronic Systems sales following the merger. On a proforma basis, last year's sales for the entity were £12.39 billion. Operating profit was £516 million, down 14% on 1998. Profit after deductions was £324 million, half 1999's due to exceptional losses.

Its share of Airbus GIE's loss was £42 million. Airbus lost £210 million, mostly through discounts on US narrowbody sales in 1996/7.

Source: Flight International