BAE exercises Airbus put option

sale BAE Systems has moved a step closer to selling its 20% stake in Airbus to EADS, with the formal exercise of its put option. EADS says the two companies “will seek to finalise their negotiations regarding the sale of BAE Systems’ Airbus stake to EADS during the coming weeks”. But if the two sides cannot agree on a price for the deal, independent banks will be appointed to set a figure. EADS can pay in cash, shares or a mixture of both.

Umeco looks east after strong results

results UK-based components logistics company Umeco is pushing ahead with expansion into the Far and Middle East following the publication of strong full-year 2005-6 results. Umeco plans to begin operations at the site it is renting in China in July – “bang on target” – and is in talks to begin sharing facilities in the Middle East and to upgrade from a sales office to a full service base in Singapore, says chief executive Clive Snowdon.


Labinal starts up Moroccan facility

expansion Safran subsidiary Labinal has opened a facility in Morocco to assemble electrical connection systems, largely for Airbus aircraft. The company has invested around 100 million dirhams ($11.7 million) in the site, near Rabat. The move is the latest in a series of Moroccan projects. Most recently Safran set up nacelle component manufacturer Aircelle Maroc and engineering company Teuchos Maroc.

Eurocopter signs Indian production deal

co-operation European helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter has signed a global industrial co-operation partnership agreement with the Indian government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics for joint production of the Ecureuil and Fennec families of civil and military helicopters. According to Eurocopter sources, the agreement envisages the supply of composites and metallic structural assemblies for the Ecureuil and Fennec families. The Indian-made Cheeta and Chetak families of helicopters are due for retirement and Eurocopter has proposed the AS350B3 Ecureuil to replace them.

Romania prepares to privatise assets

privatisation The Romanian government is preparing to privatise two of its aerospace manufacturers – Romaero and Avioane Craiova, which also offers maintenance services. The government owns 80.9% of Avioane Craiova and 72.9% of Romaero, and plans to sells its entire stakes. It aims to “modernise and upgrade the two companies, in addition to increasing their competitiveness, by selling them to strategic investors”.

GE plans Mississippi component facility

Composites US-based General Electric’s Aviation division is planning to set up a Mississippi plant to manufacture advanced composite components for jet engines from 2007-8, employing around 200 people. The plant is to produce composite fan blade platforms for the GEnx engine as well as components for military engines including the F136 for the Joint Strike Fighter.

Sogerma agrees to save 300 Mérignac jobs

Turnaround EADS subsidiary Sogerma Services has agreed to retain 300 jobs at its Bordeaux-Mérignac facility, which it announced last month was to close. The company set up a working group to try to save jobs at the site, following pressure from the French government. The working group will now seek to salvage a further 200 jobs at the facility.

Source: Flight International