27 Jun 07. French senators blamed woes at Airbus’ parent company on bad management and recommended a bigger role for French and German governments in decision-making Wednesday. The findings in a report by French senators Jean-Francois Le Grand and Roland Ries, who have been investigating the company for six months, faulted national rivalries, a clumsy management structure, lack of surveillance by shareholders DaimlerChrysler AG and Lagardere Groupe SCA, and too much autonomy at the planemaker for problems with the superjumbo A380.
27 Jun 07. France and Germany have begun to discuss changes to the management structure of EADS, the European aerospace and defence group that has been riven by rivalry between Franco-German shareholders and management. It is understood that senior officials close to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have met to discuss streamlining the double-headed structure ahead of a Franco-German summit in Toulouse on July 16. They also examined issues of future financing for the group, which is facing medium-term financial pressure on the development of new aircraft, as well as possible changes to the Franco-German shareholder pact. The meetings are the first clear sign that EADS’s German shareholder, carmaker Daimler, is prepared to consider changes that have been mooted by the French government for almost a year. Paris, which holds 15 per cent of EADS, first indicated it was in favour of abolishing the system of two chairmen and chief executives last summer after problems emerged at Airbus, its aircraft-making subsidiary. EADS management, too, has argued that the group should move towards a more normal structure. On Wednesday a parliamentary report on the problems that led to the crisis at EADS clearly set out the French position, calling for a single chairman and chief executive, and even urging the German government to take a direct stake in EADS to guarantee its interests. Senior German officials reject the possibility of Berlin ever taking a stake, but said the idea of “vertical rather than horizontal parity” in the division of top jobs was being discussed. People close to the core French shareholders, which include the media conglomerate Lagardère, said ways were being sought to improve the efficiency of decision-making inside the group. Any accord between the two leaders would be invalid without the agreement of the two core industrial shareholders. President Sarkozy has made resolving the governance of EADS a priority. The EADS shareholder pact limits the French government’s ability to intervene in management issues. People on the German side warn that restructuring the pact could give EADS’s Russian investor, state-controlled Vneshtorgbank, the chance to push for board seats. (Source: FT.com)
29 Jun 07. GKN Aerospace today announces the successful completion of the acquisition of Teleflex Aerospace Manufacturing Group (TAMG). The amalgamation of TAMG with GKN Aerospace creates a market-leading supplier to the aero-engine sector and takes aero-engine products to approximately 25% of GKN Aerospace total revenues.
26 Jun 07. Dunedin, the BVCA Private Equity House of the Year, has backed the management buyout of Fernau Avionics (“Fernau”), a world-leading designer and manufacturer of Navigational Aids to the civil and military aviation markets in the UK, Europe, North America and the Far East. The management buyout will enable the previous owners, Glendale International, the quoted Canadian company, to focus on its other business interests. Dunedin invested £8 million for a significant majority equity stake. Navigational Aids are primarily fixed, ground-based installations which transmit a series of radio signals which allow pilots to navigate safely and efficiently and gain accurate location information. The equipment is owned and maintained by government and national bodies as it is safety-critical and security-critical. For example the 2020 DME (Distance Me