Airbus Group and Safran to Nominate Alain Charmeau as CEO of future Joint Venture for Launcher Activities
Amsterdam/ Paris, 30 July 2014
* Companies Agree On First Top Management Nominations and Corporate Governance
* BoD to be Composed of Six Members – Three from Each Partner Company, Chaired by
* Designated CEO to Propose Further Top Management Positions in September
* Launcher JV of Airbus Group and Safran to Reshape The Space Launcher Business, Increase Sector Competitiveness and Provide Customers With More Cost-Efficient Solutions
Airbus Group (stock exchange symbol: AIR) and Safran (stock exchange symbol: SAF) have agreed to nominate Alain Charmeau (58), as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the future Space Launcher Joint Venture. Currently, Alain Charmeau is serving as the Head of Operations at Space Systems within Airbus Defence and Space Division.
The CEOs of Airbus Group and Safran – Tom Enders and Jean-Paul Herteman – also agreed to nominate Marc Ventre (63), Deputy CEO & COO of Safran, to become Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Joint Venture. Besides the Chairman and the CEO, both Airbus Group and Safran will each nominate two additional Directors to the Board.
Following the initial announcement of the Joint Venture by Airbus Group and Safran on 16 June 2014, these joint decisions form the basis for the corporate governance of the 50-50 Joint Venture, which is aimed at reshaping the Europe`s Space Launcher Business. The Joint Venture's key objective is to propose a new family of competitive, versatile and efficient space launchers, to serve both commercial and institutional needs.
"Our nominations today are an important milestone in the creation of the Joint Venture and towards a more integrated, more efficient and hence more profitable launcher business in Europe", said
Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus Group. "The management is tasked with a clear mission: to improve competitiveness of the future European Launcher business. This objective is without alternative for me – either, we fundamentally drive change in this sector or we risk becoming irrelevant very soon."
Jean-Paul Herteman, Chairman & CEO of Safran, said: "We have full confidence in the CEO and his team to establish an operational plan for the Joint Venture enabling industry to optimize future launcher configurations, to act as the design authority and to set the best overall integrated industrial organisation going forward. In this Joint Venture, each shareholder will bring its full support and retain a key role in their legacy activities especially in France and Germany, combining expertise in the launcher systems from Airbus Group as well as propulsion systems from Safran."
The initiative capitalises on the preparatory activities undertaken during the last two years under the leadership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the French Space Agency CNES, in line with the guidelines set by the ESA ministerial conference in November 2012. The current industrial initiative proposes:
* to further develop and accelerate entry-into-service of the Ariane 5 ME launcher as a logical evolution of Ariane 5, including an improved upper stage based on the Vinci engine; and
* to further develop two Ariane 6 launcher variants (Ariane 6.1 and Ariane 6.2) able to fulfil a range of institutional and commercial missions as expressed by ESA, the National Space Agencies, Arianespace and satellite operators.
Both Airbus Group and Safran have been close and complementary partners in the launcher business, with an unmatched row of successful Ariane launches for more than 10 years. With this new partnership, for which a memorandum of understanding was signed, both companies strive to capitalise on the successful track record of Arianespace and the Ariane family by further increasing efficiency and competitiveness.
Both companies express their determination to continue to play a leading role in the space launcher business as well as to safeguard Europe's autonomous and reliable access to space. This year, ESA and its Member Nations are expected to take far-reaching decisions on current and next generation launchers.
The initiative is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the space launcher business going forward. The Ariane programme has been hugely successful during the last 30 years, but in order to remain relevant and competitive for the future, Airbus Group and Safran are determined to establish a much more efficient industrial structure.
Among an increased number of actors worldwide and in addition to high technological challenges, European industry must provide competitive solutions for all space segments, among which launchers remain at the forefront. Today, Europe is at a crossroad where it needs to opt for driving change, becoming more agile, making space products more affordable, and integrate industrial structures better. This new joint entity will be a major worldwide player in the launcher domain, with the aim to benefit from growth and better serve institutional as well as commercial customers.
Signing of the first phase of the transaction and an initial start of operations of the Joint Venture are expected before the end of 2014.
The creation of the Joint Venture is subject to regulatory approvals and to the consultation of the relevant employee representative bodies.
Airbus Group is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2013, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space and Airbus Helicopters – generated revenues of € 57.6 billion (restated) and employed a workforce of around 139,000 (restated).
Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defence and Security. Operating worldwide, the Group has 66,300 employees and generated sales of 14.7 billion euros in 2013*. Working alone or in partnership, Safran holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets. The Group invests heavily in Research & Development to meet the requirements of changing markets, including expenditures of 1.8 billion Euros in 2013. Safran is listed on Euronext Paris and is part of the CAC40 index.
* Sales in 2013 restated for the impacts of IFRS11 amounted to 14.4 billion euros.
2, bd du Général Martial Valin
75724 Paris Cedex 15 – France
NL-2333 CS Leiden
Tél +33 (0)1 40 60 80 28
Analysts & Investors
Tél +33-(0)1 40 60 35 96
Contacts Airbus Group:
Tél +49-(0)175 227 4369
+33-(0)629 431 564