Tuesday 14 February 2017 7:45 pm

Activist investor Chris Hohn launches bid to block €8.5bn aerospace deal, potentially pitting TCI against the French government

Sir Chris Hohn’s activist hedge fund has launched a bid to block an €8.5bn (£7.2bn) aerospace deal.

The Children’s Investment (TCI) Fund, which owns a 4.1 per cent stake in Safran, wants to block the aircraft-engine maker’s takeover deal for plane-seat supplier Zodiac.

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TCI has written to the French regulator AMF asking that shareholders be given the chance to vote on the deal.

The activist has also written to the chairman of Safran demanding a vote and making clear its opposition to the deal, which Hohn believes has “no strategic rationale”.

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The activist campaign could see TCI pitted against the French government, which has a 14 per cent stake in the Safran.

TCI warned Safran against “value destructive” acquisitions in a letter in 2012 and told the company to start returning cash to shareholders.