Airbus reduces over-subscribed Dassault stake

Adam Hignett
Airbus is seeking to cash in on Dassault
AIRBUS continued to cut back on its Dassault Aviation holding, announcing it had reduced its stake in the company to 24.4 per cent yesterday.

The sell off is the latest since Airbus set about disengaging from the company last November at which time it had held a 46.3 per cent share in the firm.

In March, Airbus sold 1.6m shares in the family controlled maker of the Rafale fighter jet, raising €1.6bn (£1.2bn) in the process and reducing its stake to 24.6 per cent.

Under the terms of the deal, which valued the shares at a minimum of €980 each, Dassault was entitled to 460,000 shares at the fixed price.

The remaining shares ended up selling for €1,030 each with the French government choosing not to exercise its right of refusal to shares being issued in the placement. The latest sell off occurred through an over allotment option linked to the sale, allowing bookrunners to sell up to 15 per cent in extra shares within 30 days if demand was significant enough.

Airbus bought into Dassault at the turn of the millenium but has reduced its stake in the company as it seeks to cash in on rising share prices.

Dassualt has secured some large contracts recently, including a deal to supply the Egyptian airforce with 24 Rafale aircraft worth €5bn.

The firm has also been in protracted negotiations with the Indian government for a much larger contract which could result in the emerging superpower buying 126 new combat jets from the French company for €20.3bn.

Airbus is also looking to India as a source of new revenues. The aerospace company said it was would start manufacturing military transport planes, satellites and helicopters in the country over the next five years.

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