Aerospace firms fly in close formation

Europe’s aerospace firms this week reached a wide measure of agreement in their drive to establish a single European aerospace and defence company (EADC). British Aerospace, France’s Aerospatiale, Spain’s Casa, Germany’s Dasa, Sweden’s Saab and Italy’s Alenia have given their governments a joint confidential report which meets official requests for clarification following the position paper […]

Europe’s aerospace firms this week reached a wide measure of agreement in their drive to establish a single European aerospace and defence company (EADC).

British Aerospace, France’s Aerospatiale, Spain’s Casa, Germany’s Dasa, Sweden’s Saab and Italy’s Alenia have given their governments a joint confidential report which meets official requests for clarification following the position paper on aerospace consolidation, issued by the firms last July.

In the secret response, the companies confirm that a unified and integrated EADC is the right structure for the fusion of the countries’ major aerospace firms.

BAe laid emphasis on the endorsement given by Saab and Alenia to the March report from the four Airbus partners, which backed the idea of a single EADC.

But a BAe spokesman said that while there was a measure of resolution: ‘There is not a particular timescale on the formation of the EADC, as there is on the Airbus single corporate entity.’ A deadline of 1999 was set for formation of the corporate entity.

‘We all have the desire to move the process forward and want to progress fairly quickly,’ the spokesman added.

‘The process is already under way with our joint ventures, for example our 35% stake in Saab.

‘We’re still seeking the formula. All parties want to protect national issues, like national security, law, tax, employment and so on.’

‘Our preferred shape for the company would allow a wide distribution of shares,’ he said, highlighting the main issue of contention with France.

One option could be for governments to hold ‘golden shares’ to protect national interests.

BAe also said it did not rule out other companies joining the EADC’s present six potential partners.