BAE begins talks to sale Airbus stake
BAE has initiated discussions with EADS on disposal of the former's 20% stake in the aircraft manufacturer, Airbus Industries.india Updated: Apr 08, 2006 16:43 IST
British Aerospace (BAE) Systems has initiated discussions with the European aerospace and defence consortium, EADS, on disposal of the former's 20 per cent stake in the premier aircraft manufacturer, Airbus Industries.
"EADS confirms it is entering into the very early stages of discussion on the potential disposal of BAE System's 20 per cent stake in Airbus.
"BAE Systems' Management called EADS Management Thursday evening to initiate the talks," the EADS Group, which is a major stakeholder in Airbus, Eurocopter and other aviation and defence units, said in a statement.
Public sector Indian has ordered 43 aircraft from Airbus.
EADS, however, made it clear that these talks did not represent an exercise of the "put option" held by BAE Systems with regard to the stake, nor was there any certainty of the outcome.
EADS is also a major partner in the Eurofighter consortium, has a joint venture MBDA - a global leader in missile systems and the prime contractor for Ariane launcher.
'The Guardian' newspaper said that BAE's Airbus stake was worth about $4.2 billion.
Earlier, the BBC had reported that BAE Systems was set to sell its 20 per cent stake in Airbus, most likely to EADS. The news had prompted union leaders to seek urgent talks with BAE because Airbus directly employs some 13,000 people in Britain.
The BBC said the sale meant the end of British ownership of Airbus manufacturing sites in North Wales and near Bristol, putting a big question mark over the future of jobs there.