OHB, Airbus Unable To Reach Deal On German Sites

Airbus terminated negotiations with OHB Technology over the sale of three German sites, part of a cost-cutting overhaul at the planemaker's parent EADS.

PARIS (AP) -- Airbus has terminated negotiations with Germany's OHB Technology AG over the sale of three German sites, part of a cost-cutting overhaul at the planemaker's parent EADS.
Airbus said in a statement Thursday that it couldn't find a viable industrial and financial solution with OHB for the Airbus sites in Nordenham and Varel and an EADS site in Augsburg.
The company said it will continue searching for other solutions for these and other sites that it pledged to sell or partially cede under its Power8 restructuring plan. The company added that volatility in financial markets and the dollar exchange rate are making the process difficult.
''We have always said that we will only go for economically and industrially sound solutions. We want to ensure the future of our sites with strong partners who share technology, development costs and capital investments and are able to deliver large work packages at competitive costs. We simply could not get there with OHB'', Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders said in the statement.
Airbus parent European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. is jointly operated by French and German management.
The German government voiced disappointment at the announcement.
''I regret that the promising approach of creating an internationally competitive German aerostructure company via an experienced German firm ... did not lead to success,'' said the government's aerospace coordinator, Peter Hintze.
He added that it is of ''decisive importance'' to Berlin that research, development and production of both current technology and new carbon-fiber materials remain in Germany -- and said: ''I am confident that we will achieve this aim.''
The restructuring plan is aimed at boosting profitability at EADS after costly delays to the superjumbo A380 and the mid-range A350 and protracted management turmoil.
OHB said last fall it was seeking to integrate the Augsburg, Nordenham and Varel sites into its own units that are already producing parts for the Ariane rocket.
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