Talks to sell 3 EADS plants fail

Talks to sell 3 EADS plants fail
One of the factories up for sale, in Varel. Photo: DPA
Talks by EADS to sell three German plants to the private equity firm Cerberus and OHB Technology's MT Aerospace unit have collapsed, it's aircraft manufacturing unit Airbus said on Thursday.

The parties failed to agree on a “viable industrial and financial solution,” the statement said.

The sale of the factories is part of a vast programme to restructure Airbus. The statement quoted Airbus chief executive Tom Enders as saying: “We have always said that we will only go for economically and industrially sound solutions.”

“We want to ensure the future of our sites with strong partners who share technology, development costs and capital investments and are able to deliver large work packages at competitive costs,” he added. “We simply could not get there with OHB.”

The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company had said in December that MT Aerospace was its preferred bidder to acquire plants in Nordenham, Varel and Augsburg, Germany, and as recently as last week denied that talks had failed.

Airbus said on Thursday that it would search for other solutions and “in parallel, will proceed with the carve-out of the three sites.”

It blamed financial market volatility and the rise of the euro against the dollar for having created obstacles “to an easy and smooth implementation of this process.”

The site divestment strategy is part of a vast restructuring plan for Airbus dubbed Power8 which involves 10,000 job cuts over four years and the sale of six Airbus factories.

The other sites are in Britain, France and Laupheim, Germany.

“There will be no turning back” from efforts to attain the plan’s goals, Enders said.