Airbus in exclusive talks on sale of German plant

Aerospace group Airbus is in exclusive talks with two European companies for the sale of its aircraft cabins factory in Laupheim, Germany.

A joint venture between German defence group Diehl and French electronics firm Thales is Airbus̵7;s ̵6;preferred bidder̵7; to buy the factory.

Talks on the disposal are part of Airbus's ̵6;Power 8̵7; restructuring plan aimed at saving 2.1 billion euros annually and cutting 10,000 jobs by 2010 as it suffers from delays to its A380 superjumbo programme.

Airbus, part of European group EADS, is also looking to sell part of its UK wing factory in Filton, for which the aircraft maker is in talks with GKN.

The breakdown of talks on other sites in Europe had cast a shadow over Airbus's hopes of transferring costly research into new materials for its future A350 aircraft to its suppliers

The Laupheim site has 1,100 staff and produces cabin linings, compartments and air ducts for Airbus aircraft.

"Through the acquisition of the Laupheim site, Diehl and Thales intend to further expand their cabin activities, thus becoming leader global suppliers in the field of aircraft cabins," Diehl and Thales said in a statement.

Image: Delays to A380 have contributed to Airbus's need to cut costs

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