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Airbus | Europe - Other | France | Industry & Trends | Issues - International | Issues - Political | Mergers & Acquisitions | Russia | USA

State-Owned Russian Bank Invests in EADS

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Speculation has rippled through Europe and beyond since leading Russian business daily Vedemosti reported that Russia’s VneshTorgBank (VTB) has invested around $1 billion to acquire 4.5 – 4.8% of the European Aeronautic Defence & Space Corporation (EADS), the Franco-German aerospace concern that owns Airbus and serves as Europe’s largest defense contractor. Their timing has been timely, given problems with subsidiary Airbus that have depressed EADS’ share prices almost 33% from its $35 high in March 2006. VTB, which is Russia’s second largest bank and 100% government-owned, is hardly seen as an independent entity… and its actions could have wider ripples in the global defense market. Russian government sources have openly said that they hope to be given some say in EADS’s management, based on a combination of shares owned and talks between the respective governments. Some European sources are already hinting darkly (or happily, depending on the source) at a German-led effort to diminish France’s clout in the EADS partnership, while others point to Russia’s status as Europe’s top natural gas supplier – a status enhanced by their recent Algerian arms deal – as a more likely source of potential leverage. It’s also no coincidence that Russia’s interest comes at […]

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