Shares in BAE Systems, Britain’s biggest defence firm, and aerospace manufacturer EADS slipped in reaction to the news that the UK Company is to go ahead and sell its stake in Airbus to EADS. BAE wants to focus on its core defence business and says Airbus faces “a challenging short to medium-term outlook” as it invests in new models. BAE Systems 20% of Airbus is being sold for 2.75 billion euros much less than the valuation before the recent announcement of further delays to the A380 super jumbo and the need to redesign the A350 mid-size airliner. EADS co-chief executive Louis Gallois, who was appointed in July to sort out the crisis, has just denied rumours of fresh delays. He dismissed the negative comments from BAE Systems and said EADS will complete its review of the challenges it faces shortly.
In an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde, Gallois said a new delivery schedule for the A380 will be announced in a few weeks and the EADS board will meet in early October to approve new financing for the revamped A350. Gallois also denied persistent speculation of more delays for the A400M military transport plane.