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Airbus to restructure defence division, sell off units


BERLIN (AFP): European aircraft manufacturer Airbus on Tuesday said that it would sell off several subsidiaries at its defence division to focus on its core businesses of space activities, military planes and missiles.

"Some business areas are identified as divestment candidates as they do not fit the strategic goals," the company said in a statement, citing budget troubles among key state clients.

These include communications businesses such as commercial satellite activities "which will have better chances for growth and market success in different ownership structures".

Airbus cited specific units that would go on the auction block including Fairchild Controls, Rostock System-Technik, AvDef and Atlas Elektronik.

It said "further industrial alternatives" for its Security and Defence Electronics businesses would be explored.

The company did not give a timeframe for the restructuring.

Chief executive Tom Enders said the new priorities were the "logical follow-up" to a strategic review at the group last year.

"They will foster the strengths of the division and, hence, will result in an even stronger focus on our Group's core activities, aeronautics and space," Enders said in the statement.

The head of the Airbus Defence and Space division, Bernhard Gerwert, said that the "tight budgetary situation in our home countries and increasing competition on global markets" had prompted the shift.

The restructuring will strengthen the company "particularly on critically important international growth markets", he added.

The Airbus Defence and Space division groups two activities formerly known as Airbus Military, Astrium and Cassidian.

The company changed its name to Airbus Group from EADS at the beginning of this year in a major refocusing of activities after a failed attempt to merge with British group BAE Systems.

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