10 Jan 07. A consortium of banks has agreed to buy a 7.5 per cent stake in EADS from DaimlerChrysler for an interim period, which will give the German government more time to find a long-term solution to the ownership structure at the aerospace group. The agreement follows months of discussions between the government, banks and companies to find a solution that allows DaimlerChrysler to reduce its stake in the Franco-German group to 15 per cent from 22.5 per cent without reducing the German influence at the company. A government spokesman on Wednesday confirmed that an agreement had been reached and that details of the deal could be announced at the end of the month. The investors, which include private banks such as Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and Goldman Sachs and state-owned KfW, will take on the economic risk related to the shares, while the voting rights will remain with DaimlerChrysler, to make sure the Franco-German balance of power remains in place. People close to the transaction said the group of about a dozen banks had agreed to hold the shares for a period of about four years, after which they could be returned to DaimlerChrysler. However, as the German carmaker wants to reduce its exposure to the company, Berlin will, in the coming years, look for a permanent solution to the ownership issue. Banking sources had previously said the private banks would take on slightly more than half of the 7.5 per cent stake, with public banks owning the rest, and that the banks would each take “more or less” equal stakes. (Source: FT.com)
10 Jan 07. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. has agreed to acquire aircraft maker PZL Mielec from the Polish government. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), of Hartford, Connecticut, USA.PZL Mielec will form the foundation of Sikorsky’s European operations. Sikorsky and the Polish government announced the contract during a ceremony in Warsaw today. “Sikorsky has taken a major step toward becoming a leading member of the European aerospace community,” said Jeffrey Pino, Sikorsky’s president. “This acquisition brings together two pioneering aerospace companies. Together, we will build on each others’ strengths to create a world class aircraft manufacturer and service provider drawing upon Poland’s great aerospace heritage and expertise.” Under the agreement Sikorsky will acquire a 100 percent stake in the company, which is based in the city of Mielec. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and pre-closing conditions. PZL Mielec is Poland’s largest fixed wing aircraft manufacturer with approximately 1,500 employees. The company is wholly owned by the Industrial Development Agency (known by the Polish acronym ARP), which is a government holding company under the Ministry of Treasury. “This investment establishes PZL Mielec as a key component of Sikorsky’s long-range global strategy to meet worldwide demand for its products and services,” Pino said.
10 Jan 07. Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co. said it will raise as much as 61.56bn yen ($518.4m) through a public offering of new shares to make investments into growth areas such as aircraft engines. The Tokyo heavy-machinery maker, known as IHI, said it is planning capital outlays of 23bn yen on aircraft-engine activities. The company is planning to build additional facilities at its Soma plant in northern Japan to cope with the rising demand for aircraft engines, an IHI spokesman said. The Soma plant, where IHI set up a facility this past year, makes parts for engines, including the CF34 jet engine for small aircraft and the GE90 engine for Boeing Co.’s 777. But “that wouldn’t be enough,” said a spokesman. IHI has received orders for components of the engine used in Boeing’s new 787 “Dreamliner.” The public offering is the latest move among Japanese companies to tap into the stock market as part of expansion efforts, following similar decisions by firms such as silicon-wafer maker Sumco Corp. and retai