DASSAULT AND Aerospatiale will be unable to meet the 30 June deadline set by president, Jacques Chirac for agreement on the structure, for a merger between the two.

Dassault president Serge Dassault told a shareholders' meeting on 13 June that, while the steering committee charged with preparing the merger "-has been created, and working groups are functioning under the guidance of the DGA [French ministry of defence]-all of the problems cannot be resolved by 30 June".

A source close to the negotiations says that the steering committee, which is made up of vice-presidents from the two companies and DGA officials, is working "day and night" to resolve the problems. He adds that 30 June will probably produce a "clear declaration" indicating the overall framework of the holding company which is likely to be formed.

An evaluation of the company's value is likely to be known "soon", according to Dassault, who adds that it will take "two years" for this "very complicated" merger to be accomplished.

Source: Flight International