AIRBUS SEALS LAUPHEIM SALE, 'CLOSE' TO FILTON
Airbus has finalised the sale of its €240 million ($373 million) annual turnover Laupheim cabin interiors plant to its preferred bidder, a partnership between Diehl and Thales. The deal, which is subject to competition clearance, includes dollar-based contracts for A350 XWB crew rest compartments, complete cabin linings and overhead bins. Separately, GKN says it is close to concluding an agreement to acquire the Airbus wing aerostructures facility at Filton and sourcing a major package of work on the A350 XWB twinjet. That forecast came as the firm unveiled a half-year aerospace division trading profit of £47 million ($91.5 million), up by 24% on the first half of last year, while sales for the six-month period increased by a similar proportion to £467 million. GKN expects that finalising a deal with Airbus, which should be completed by year-end, would increase its annual revenues by around £400 million.
BAE CUTS LOSSES BUT OUTLOOK REMAINS DISMAL
BAE Systems' regional aircraft management business turned in a much-reduced loss of £2 million ($4 million) for the first half of this year, compared with its 2007 interim deficit of £65 million, but the company admits it does not foresee the activity becoming profitable in the near term. BAE's regional aircraft division secured new leases or extensions for 32 aircraft over the six-month period, including nine Avro RJ100s for Sweden's Malmo Aviation.
K&F ACQUISITION LIFTS MEGGITT HALF-YEAR
Meggitt's aerospace activity has more than doubled its underlying operating profit to £104.5 million ($204 million) for the first half of this year. The company's aerospace revenues were up by 88% to £351 million over the six months to 30 June, reflecting in part its acquisition last year of US engineering company K&F Industries. Meggitt derived about 25% of its first-half revenues from the civil large jet market, with another 11% from the regional sector.
AEROFLOT RESPONDS COLDLY TO JAT SALE PRICE
Aeroflot has indicated reluctance to bid for a shareholding in Serbia's Jat Airways unless the terms set by Serbia's government take full account of its financial situation and the fuel-price environment. The country's privatisation agency has invited expressions of interest in 51% of Jat after reducing the minimum asking price to €51 million ($79 million). Over the past year Aeroflot has declared its interest, but while final tender documents should be released by the end of August, Aeroflot says: "The government is stipulating such sale terms that we'll hardly participate in the bidding." Jat general director Sasa Vlaisavljevic is reported as stating that the carrier still owes €209 million to creditors.
LOCKHEED MARTIN BUYS AUSTRALIAN VENTURE
Lockheed Martin is boosting its presence in Australia by buying out joint venture partner Tenix to take full ownership of radar, systems engineering and integration and logistics management company RLM Holdings. The acquisition by Lockheed Martin, which follows completion in June of the sale of Tenix's defence business to BAE Systems Australia, is subject to approval by Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board. The Adelaide-based company employs more than 250 people and is primarily involved in the ongoing maintenance, support and enhancement of Australia's wide-area surveillance over-the-horizon Jindalee Operational Radar Network. Meanwhile, Tenix is evaluating the sale of repair and overhaul operation Tenix Aviation following a number of unsolicited enquiries.
Source: Flight International