Tue, Sep 12, 2006
Boeing May Benefit Indirectly From The Purchase
A Russian bank,
VneshTorgBank (VTB), and 100% owned by the Russian government, has
just spent around a billion dollars to acquire almost 5% of the
European Aeronautic Defense & Space Corporation (EADS).
EADS is the parent of Airbus, and is also Europe's largest
The Russians were able to get more bang for their buck because
EADS' share price is down almost 1/3 from its high just six
months ago. Its Airbus subsidiary has seen a number of
problems with its A380 superjumbo and A350 medium range designs
which was reflected in their reduced stock value.
EADS, in turn, owns 10% of Irkut Corp, which is attempting to
combine multiple Russian aviation businesses into a large holding
company called United Aircraft (not to be confused, of course, with
the former American company of the same name).
According to the
Defense Industry Daily, the timing is quite interesting because a
giant battle is brewing between American Boeing and European Airbus
for next Air Force air refueling tanker contract, estimated to be
more than $20 billion dollars.
Russian involvement in the largely German and French company may
complicate the tanker battle and tilt the scales toward Boeing. The
US is likely to be unwilling to share advanced technology with a
country that -- while not exactly the Communist enemy it once
was -- has been much less friendly of late.
But the scales usually balance out and Airbus may be consoled
with the prospect of being the likely supplier to the Russian
national airline Aeroflot, which has a huge fleet of Cold-War-era
airliners badly in need of replacement.
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