Russia’s state-owned Vneshtorgbank has now notified European aerospace and defence firm EADS that it has bought a stake 5.02% in the company. EADS, the parent of planemaker Airbus, said the purchase would not affect control of the company by French and German shareholders.
In April, two of EADS’ largest owners decided to reduce their stakes. DaimlerChrysler is cutting its shareholding to 22.5% from 30%. Paris-based media company, Lagardere is halving its 15%stake. The Russian share purchase comes as EADS emerges from a crisis of confidence among investors and customers.
There have been changes to top management at EADS and Airbus following further delays to the A380 superjumbo and a costly redesign of the planned mid-sized A350 jet. With cash rolling in from the sale of oil, natural gas and commodities, various Kremlin-linked firms have been expanding into strategic industries. That has led to political concerns in parts of Europe. Analysts said that stronger links between the Russian state and EADS might help with future orders. Airbus is also in talks with Russian companies about them doing some design work and making parts for future aircraft.