European Aerospace Rival Unlikely Soon

The Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. will probably not confront a credible European civilian and military aerospace rival any time soon -- despite the late-March decision by British Aerospace PLC, Frances Aerospatiale, Germanys Daimler-Benz Aerospace AG, and Spains Construcciones Aeronauticas SA to join forces. While the four have agreed in principle to transform their Airbus Industrie consortium into a single company held by shareholders, theres apparently no specific plan for action. Consolidation will depend on the British, French, and German partners agreeing on one approach to projects -- and thats not likely to come as long as France refuses to privatize state-owned Aerospatiale.

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