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Airbus Winds Down Dassault Stake

June 10, 2016
The stake sale will end a long history between the two plane makers.

PARIS—Airbus said Friday it had started winding down its stake of just under a quarter in France's Dassault Aviation after failing to draw sufficient benefits from its shareholding in the fellow aircraft maker.

Airbus said it expects to gross 2.4 billion euros ($2.7 billion) from the sale of its 23.6% in Dassault, which makes the Rafale fighter plane and the Falcon corporate jet.

A first stage, a private sale of 9.05% in Dassault, was completed Friday, Airbus said.

Airbus also sold 5.5% back to Dassault itself. Both transactions were priced at 950 euros per Dassault shares, which compares with the company's closing price of 970 euros Thursday on the Paris stock exchange.

Airbus said it would issue five-year bonds convertible into Dassault shares, which should allow it to offload the remainder of its Dassault shares.

Airbus had already sold 18.75% in Dassault in 2015 and said that it hoped to unwind the remainder this year.

The stake sale will end a long history between the two plane makers. At the end of the 1990s, the French government sold its Dassault stake to Aerospatiale-Matra, a French company that was later incorporated into EADS, which in turn became Airbus.

Airbus has been reviewing its holdings portfolio over the past two years and concluded at the end of 2014 that the Dassault stake held little strategic interest because its minority stake gave it no decision-making power in Dassault, which is majority-owned by the Dassault family.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016

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