FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — OHB Technology AG aims to form a ''first-tier supplier'' for the aviation industry if it is successful in acquiring three German plants from airplane builder Airbus, the German company said today.
OHB executives told Dow Jones Newswires that the company is assessing the placement of a combined bid for three German sites in Augsburg, Nordenham and Varel to see if it can integrate them into its own units that are already producing parts for the Ariane rocket.
OHB placed bids for two northern German sites in Varel and Nordenham, where Airbus produces other equipment.
European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. NV said last week it might include the manufacturing facility at Augsburg, in southern Germany, among the plants it wants to divest as part of Airbus's restructuring plan Power 8.
OHB Chief Executive Marco Fuchs said his company would consider making a bid if EADS — the Franco-German parent of Airbus — does decide to sell the Augsburg facility.
According to EADS, 70 percent of the work in Augsburg is for Airbus, which makes the plant the single largest aerostructures supplier to Airbus. The remaining 30 percent of the work goes toward military projects, such as the Eurofighter.
OHB operates its subsidiary MT Aerospace AG in Augsburg. The unit was formed in 2005 after OHB bought MAN Technologie AG from truck maker MAN AG, along with its partner Apollo Capital Partners GmbH, which holds a 30 percent stake.
''The industrial logic behind the plan to acquire all three sites is to form a first-tier supplier for the aviation industry,'' MT Aerospace head Hans Steininger said.
He said that OHB is in talks with industrial and financial investors about teaming up to finance such a deal.
''All three plants combined, we are talking about sales of around 1 billion euros ($1.36 billion),'' Steininger said, adding he would not comment on the value of a possible deal.
Steininger said German politicians would welcome the idea and that OHB would be a long-term investor, capable of managing the carbon parts technology and costs as well as the financing of a deal.
OHB also could play the ''German card'', Steininger said.
OHB spokeswoman Danela Sell said that any decision on the plant, along with offers to buy the sites in Varel and Nordenham probably would not come until September.