EADS Agrees To Sell Socata to Daher

 - November 4, 2008, 11:20 AM

Socata–the Tarbes, France-based manufacturer of the TBM 850 turboprop single–will be majority owned by French-based aerostructure specialist Daher under an agreement reached yesterday with Socata parent company EADS. The transaction amount was not disclosed. Daher is acquiring a 70-percent stake in Socata and has an option to buy the remaining 30 percent in three years. The deal is still subject to approval by antitrust authorities in Europe and possibly in the U.S., according to a Socata spokesman. Daher has committed to keep a constant “perimeter of employment” for three years, a pledge that helped convince unions and the production committees to support the acquisition. The deal is expected to boost Socata’s investment capacity, thus enabling the firm to proceed with development of the NTX, a new twin-turbine business airplane. The spokesman said the company remains on track to launch the NTX formally next year. He also clarified there is no plan to change Socata’s name. EADS CEO Louis Gallois praised the formation of “a major player in aerostructures, business aviation and services.”