ENP Newswire - 11 July 2014
Release date- 10072014 - Airbus Group (stock exchange symbol: AIR) today has sold a 66.5% stake in its Test & Services business to ACE Management and IRDI (Institut Regional de Developpement Industriel de Midi-Pyrenees) after receiving the necessary regulatory approvals.
Following a thorough auction process, Airbus Group entered into a preliminary agreement regarding the divestment in June 2014.
ACE Management, which manages the European Aerospace and Defence fund, Aerofund III and Financiere de Brienne, and IRDI plan to further develop Test & Services and diversify into new markets. The agreement is part of Airbus Group's ongoing portfolio rationalisation in line with its strategic focus on the core aeronautics business. Airbus Group is convinced that the consortium led by ACE Management and by IRDI will provide Test & Services with the appropriate financial resources under the continued leadership of its current CEO,
Marwan Lahoud, Airbus Group Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, said: 'The divestment process has been conducted very carefully, with an aim to provide the best possible outcome for all parties involved. We are truly convinced that the independence of the company is a great opportunity for its experienced and motivated management team to grow the business further.
I am proud that entrepreneurs have emerged from our Group.'
Thierry Letailleur, Managing Partner at ACE Management, said Test & Services had good prospects under the new ownership structure: 'Through its worldwide client base, the company clearly stands as a leading player on the test equipment market. We are excited to support
Test & Services in its development strategy, and we are convinced that the company is in a very good position to become a world-class SME, relying primarily on its current entities in France, Germany and United Kingdom.'
Test & Services, which will be renamed Spherea Test & Services specializes in the development, manufacturing and maintenance of test equipment. It is headquartered in Toulouse and employs around 500 people in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
In 2013, it had revenues of EUR 103 million with a return on sales of 5 percent. The business employs world-class engineers and serves commercial and military customers worldwide.