Tom Keighley

Member Article

BAE in merger talks with French Airbus owners

BAE Systems and Airbus-owner EADS have announced they are in serious talks over a possible merger.

The move would create the biggest aerospace and defence group in Europe, in what the two organisations are calling a “combination” of businesses.

French firm EADS operate an Airbus plant at Broughton in Flintshire, which employs 6,500 people, and a defence company called Cassidian in Newport, which employs 1,000 people.

A merger would balance EADS civil aircraft business with BAE’s largely defence-based business, and could see the British firm play a part in EADS’ British operations.

A statement from BAE said: “BAE Systems and EADS believe that the potential combination of the two businesses offers significant benefits for all stakeholders, over and above their individual business strategies, which both businesses continue to execute strongly.

“In particular, they believe that the combination of the two complementary businesses offers the opportunity of greater innovation, long term financial stability, and an extended market presence, which will enable them to compete even more effectively on the world stage.”

A combined EADS-BAE would operate manufacturing and technology centres across the UK, USA, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, India and Saudi Arabia.

Any deal would be subject to a number of governmental, regulatory and shareholder approvals.

Unite the union expressed concern over the potential merger, and demanded an urgent meeting with BAE Systems, EADS and government ministers Vince Cable and Phillip Hammond.

Unite national officer Ian Waddell said: “Today’s news has come totally out of the blue for the workforce and our first priority will be to safeguard jobs and skills. Any merger will need political approval in Europe and the US. Questions need to be asked about when the UK government knew about this and what it will do to safeguard jobs.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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