Airbus and Safran Launch Joint Venture

The Airbus Group and Safran have announced the creation of their new Joint Venture, Airbus Safran Launchers.

The new venture will begin operations on the 1st of January 2015 and will work on a new family of state of the art space launchers to nurture the growth of Europe’s role in the space industry. The new company will bring together the expertise of both Airbus Group and Safran in space launchers at key Franco-German industrial sites. The Joint Venture’s headquarters will be located in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris.

This first step follows the announcement in June 2014 by Airbus Group and Safran regarding their intention to pool their respective space launcher activities to boost competitiveness and ensure the profitability of the European space launcher business in the face of growing international competition.

Both companies have welcomed the recent approval by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Ministerial Conference for the development and production of a new Ariane 6 space launcher. Both companies have made a far-reaching industrial proposal for Ariane 6 and its endorsement was critical for the Joint Venture’s creation. The industry proposal naturally assumes an in-principle agreement for the transfer to the JV of shares in Arianespace held by the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, France’s space agency.

Tom Enders, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Group said;

The creation of Airbus Safran Launchers immediately after the Ministerial Conference is much more than a symbol, it is a sign of our strong engagement and our ability to deploy our resources and meet our commitments. This is precisely what we will continue to do to ensure that all stakeholders – industry and European States – are able to pursue the remarkable success of the Ariane programme and continue to guarantee independent, reliable and competitive access to space for Europe.

Closing is expected on 31 December 2014 after completion of final formalities. This agreement launches the first, initial phase of the transaction. In a second phase, all activities of Airbus Group and Safran dealing with space launchers will be integrated in the Joint Venture.