French aerospace firm Latécoère is planning a capital increase to buy Airbus' Meaulte and Saint Nazaire Ville sites if its bid is successful the proposed transaction has not been detailed but the company expects a deal to come by year-end.

The French firm says: "The new group would have a €1.1 billion [$1.5 billion] turnover from 2008 and would become one of the world leaders in aerostructures and wiring.

"It will benefit from strong growth prospects with, in the short term, the launch of the Airbus A350 XWB and, in the medium term, the successor to the A320 and Boeing 737. Bringing together Latécoère, Meaulte and Saint Nazaire Ville would consolidate the future of the aerostructure industry in France."

Latécoère says it has also responded to the request for proposals for the A350 XWB, bidding to supply cabling and composite structures, such as fuselage sections.

Over the first six months of 2007, Latécoère's revenues rose by 11.5% to reach €253 million. Operating profits for the period were 12.5% up at €20.7 million, but its net result fell by 20% to €8 million.

Latécoère says its net profits were depressed by exceptional items in 2006 and the impact of increased debt financing costs. The firm's debts rose by 16% to €371 million, driven by Boeing 787 and A320M development funding and its delayed A380 deliveries.

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Source: Flight International