Airbus Group and Safran confirmed plans on Monday to join forces. Their aim is to shake up the rocket launcher sector in Europe by cutting costs in order to remain competitive.
Airbus and Safran shares were both up point four of one percent.
Executives discussed the new venture with French president Francois Hollande, who called it a “major step” towards consolidation.
“It is a big day for Europe, for the future of our space launchers, and we have two aims: to ensure Europe has guaranteed access to space and remains the world’s market leader,” said Stéphane Israel, Arianespace CEO.
Europe’s Ariane 5 space launcher dominates the market for large commercial satellites but faces growing concerns over its future due to competition from Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). There are plans to replace the rocket launcher with Ariane 6 by 2021.