One of the few clouds on Spanish industry’s horizon has been the uncertainty surrounding the future of Gamesa Aeronautica, one of a handful of prominent first-tier suppliers in the country.

Gamesa Group has been looking to offload the structures specialist for more than two years and has said it will “conclude the divestment” of the loss-making division this year to help it focus on its much larger and more profitable wind energy business.

But, as we closed for press, it emerged that former Gamesa chief executive Inaki Lopez Gandasegui is assembling a joint bid with Spanish savings bank Caja de Ahorros de Castilla La Mancha (CCM) to acquire the division.

Gamesa had set a non-binding bid deadline of 15 September 2005 for the sale of the division, but no suitable offers were received. Gamesa has valued its aerospace unit at €60 million ($72.2 million).

CCM says Gandasegui and the bank have been working on putting together a definitive offer for the aerospace unit, and the two sides are leading a consortium that includes several other companies. CCM’s board was due to meet on 3 March to discuss the proposed bid.

Finmeccanica and EADS have both been mooted as potential suitors for Gamesa Aeronautica.

The unit has some strong contracts. It is a risk-sharing partner on the Airbus A380 and supplier to Boeing on the 787, Embraer on its larger regional jets and Airbus Military on the A400M.

But it has been hit badly by the dollar exchange rate and the slowdown in Embraer small regional jet sales: it has a major stake in the ERJ-145.

Gamesa is likely to use the proceeds to expand in the renewable energy sector.


Source: Flight International