EADS taking time on M&A, A350 is on track: executive

Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:38am EDT
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By Patrick Vignal

PAU, France (Reuters) - EADS EAD.PA plans to adjust its portfolio as it reorganizes defense and space activities into a single division, but is in no hurry to embark on fresh deals, the European aerospace group's strategy chief said on Tuesday.

"There could be disposals and acquisitions as part of the move to a single defense-space division.. but we have to give it time and let the new team establish itself," Marwan Lahoud, chief strategy and marketing officer, told reporters.

"After that we will announce a few things."

EADS, the parent of planemaker Airbus, announced in July it would combine its defense and space subsidiaries and rename the group after the Airbus planemaking brand, starting from January 1.

The restructuring is due to be completed by July 2014.

Last month activist hedge fund TCI urged EADS to sell its stake in Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA: Quote), the French maker of combat and business jets, saying the 4 billion euro ($5.3 billion) holding was "a poor use of capital."

Industry sources have said a quick sale, which is subject to pre-emption rights by the French government, is unlikely.

Lahoud, who masterminded an attempt last year to merge with Britain's BAE Systems (BAES.L: Quote) to forge the world's largest arms maker, said EADS still aimed to surpass U.S. rival Boeing (BA.N: Quote) but acknowledged the focus would be on commercial aerospace.   Continued...

EADS Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Marwan Lahoud attends the MEDEF summer forum on the campus of the HEC School of Management in Jouy-en-Josas, near Paris, August 29, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier