DUBAI (AFP) – The Dubai government’s investment fund said Thursday it had bought a 3.12-percent stake in EADS, the parent group of European plane maker Airbus.
Based on the current price of shares in the European aerospace giant, the acquisition represents an investment of about 600 million euros (820 million dollars).
The stake was acquired by Dubai International Capital’s Global Strategic Equities Fund, “allowing it to become one of the largest institutional shareholders in the company,” the group said in a statement.
It gave no further financial details.
EADS, which is mainly controlled by French and German shareholders, welcomed the deal.
“We have always wanted a shareholder structure that’s as broad as possible,” said a Paris-based spokesman for the company.
“And Dubai International Capital seems to have confidence in our business.”
The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, with helicopter, space and defence operations, has been hit by problems in the most profitable part of its business — Airbus.
The plane maker, which competes with Boeing in the market for commercial airliners, slumped to a loss last year because of production problems with its star new product, the superjumbo A380.
EADS is also at the centre of a political debate about the control structure and management of the company.
It is jointly owned by public and private French and German shareholders and managed by French and German executives, a situation sometimes blamed for slow decision-making and ineffective management.
DIC said it would not seek a seat on the company’s board.
“In line with GSEF’s investment strategy, neither the fund nor DIC will seek a Board seat or take an active role with EADS but will seek to build a strategic relationship with the EADS management and shareholders,” it said.
GSEF said the deal came less than two months after it made a substantial investment in global banking giant HSBC Holdings plc, becoming one of its main shareholders.
The shareholder structure of EADS was diversified last year when Russian state-owned bank Vneshtorgbank bought a 5.0-percent stake. The Spanish state holding company SEPI has a 5.47 percent interest.