Agreement ON THE proposed merger between France's two biggest airframe manufacturers, Aerospatiale and Dassault, has been hampered by disagreement over Serge Dassault's status in the resulting entity, and the way in which it will be managed.

While it is virtually certain that the 30 June deadline for an accord set by president Jacques Chirac will not be met, there has been little doubt in recent weeks about a positive outcome (Flight International, 5-11 June). Sources say, however, that difficulties remain over the final shape of the alliance and, in particular, the role to be played by Dassault president Serge Dassault in the holding company being formed to manage it.

There are also concerns within Dassault over the retention of its industrial independence in the face of a merger with the much larger Aerospatiale. "There is some concern about how we will retain ownership of our industrial capabilities," says a source.

Driving the talks is the Government's threat to take over Dassault's share of the business by virtue of its 45.76% holding, and majority voting rights on 20% of that stake. At the time of writing, it appears likely that the Dassault family will control between 25% and 33% of the merged entity.

Source: Flight International