EADS to become Airbus Group, combines entities in single defense and space division

TOULOUSE, France, 2 Aug. 2013. Officials at the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. (EADS) in Toulouse, France, announced two significant changes: Airbus Military, Astrium, and Cassidian will be integrated into one defense and space division, and the company will be renamed to the Airbus Group. 

The Airbus Group will consist of three Divisions: 
• Airbus, responsible for all commercial aircraft activities; 
• Airbus Defence & Space, home to the Group’s defence and space activities including Military Transport Aircraft; and
• Airbus Helicopters, comprising all commercial and military helicopter activities. 

Combining the aerospace and defence entities Airbus Military, Astrium, and Cassidian is the Group’s response to the “changing market environment with flat or even shrinking defense and space budgets in the Western hemisphere,” says a spokesperson. “This structural change will provide optimized market access, cost and market synergies, and improved competitiveness overall.”

Airbus Helicopters, with its civil and military products, will remain unchanged. “The rotorcraft technology is very particular and it’s necessary to maintain the strong synergies between civil and military products,” the spokesperson adds.

Implementation is planned to progress step-by-step, starting on 1 January 2014 and completing in the second half of 2014. “It is designed to support the Group’s Flightpath 2015 for improved shareholder returns,” says a representative. Regulatory milestones, works council consultations and other approval procedures have to be accomplished before the changes can come into effect. 

Airbus Defence & Space will be a division with around 45,000 employees and an annual turnover of about €14 billion, headquartered in Munich, Germany. It will consist of four business segments: Military Aircraft; Space Systems; Communication, Intelligence & Security Systems; and Equipment.

“What we are unveiling today is an evolution, not a revolution,” says EADS CEO Tom Enders. “It's the next logical step in the development of our company. We affirm the predominance of commercial aeronautics in our Group and we restructure and focus our defense and space activities to take costs out, increase profitability, and improve our market position. The renaming simply gathers the entire company under the best brand we have, one that stands for internationalization, innovation, and integration-- and also for some two thirds of our revenues. It reinforces the message that ‘we make things fly.’"

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