Dassault Aviation's battle to remain an independent element of the restructured French aerospace industry is in tatters after its major outside shareholder, Aerospatiale Matra, blocked its plans to create separate civil and military divisions.
At a meeting on 30 June of the strategic committee that manages the two entities, Aerospatiale Matra president Yves Michot, with financial director Francois Auque and aeronautics director Jean-Francois Bigay, told Dassault that its plan to split the company into Dassault Falcon and Dassault Defense by the end of the year must be abandoned.
Company president Serge Dassault (left) said at the Paris air show last month that the restructuring move indicated that the fighter and business aircraft manufacturer "remains in charge of its own future".
Industry sources say the plan has always been a thorn in the side of Aerospatiale Matra. It is known that Michot wants the two entities to become straightforward divisions of the larger company, which has no fighter aircraft or business jet component.
Aerospatiale Matra took over the French Government's 45.76% stake in Dassault Aviation six months ago. While it is not a majority shareholder (the Dassault family owns most of the remaining share), the two have a 50/50 share of decision- making power.
Dassault Aviation issued a statement after the committee meeting confirming the Aerospatiale Matra decision "not to give priority to our project to create civil and military subsidiaries".
Source: Flight International