EADS is to take over maintenance specialist Vector Aerospace in a deal valuing the Canadian company at around C$625 million ($625 million).

It follows EADS' disclosure last week that it was holding exclusive negotiations over the acquisition. Vector's board has unanimously approved the deal, says EADS.

EADS will take over Vector via its Eurocopter division. Vector is strongly linked to helicopter maintenance activity but has fixed-wing, engine and avionics support businesses too.

Eurocopter will acquire Vector by offering C$13 per common share, a 15% premium on the stock price last week.

At least two-thirds of Vector shares must be submitted for the takeover to proceed but shareholders accounting for 60% of the stock have already entered lock-up agreements to sell their shares to Eurocopter.

EADS says that Vector, which employs some 2,500 personnel, will become Eurocopter Holding's independent maintenance services provider. Vector's sales of C$545 million last year were equivalent to nearly a quarter of Eurocopter's current support turnover.

"This acquisition perfectly fits EADS' Vision 2020 strategy," says EADS chief Louis Gallois, pointing out that it gives the European aerospace firm a broader presence in North America. "It is also an excellent investment opportunity for Eurocopter as Vector Aerospace has proven resilient and profitable growth."

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news