Daher issues proposal for stake in Socata business

 - October 1, 2008, 5:35 AM

EADS has taken another step toward divesting itself of subsidiary Socata, the manufacturer of the TBM 850 turboprop single. France-based aerostructure specialist Daher has presented to Socata’s joint production committee plans to take over 70 percent of Socata and possibly 100 percent after three years.

The would-be majority shareholder is committing to keep all employees at Socata’s Tarbes headquarters and main factory. However, unions have expressed concern that the new company could move work to so-called low-cost regions, such as North Africa, in the longer term. EADS now has to answer Daher’s proposal, a process in which the central joint production committee will have its say. The deal is expected to boost Socata’s investment capacity, thus enabling the company to forge ahead with another business aircraft, codenamed NTX. A spokesman said the company remains on schedule for a formal launch next year.