BAE to sell Airbus stake

BAE Systems has confirmed that it is in discussions to sell its 20 per cent stake in Airbus to European aerospace consortium EADS.

The sale could be worth an estimated £3 billion. EADS already owns the remaining 80 per cent of Airbus.

BAE employs around 13,000 people in the UK to manufacture wings for Airbus, including for the new A380 superjumbo, scheduled to begin commercial operation next year.

Airbus would be unlikely to shift production abroad in the immediate future, but union concerns have been raised. The Department of Trade and Industry said it is seeking a meeting with BAE.

BAE said in a statement there were “no implications for jobs arising from this announcement”.