Like many, I was disappointed to learn of the collapse of the proposed merger between Airbus
parent European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co.
(EADs) and British defence giant BAE Systems
(BAE), all the more so when it emerged the reason behind the moves’ collapse was political
It was an ambitious venture that would have created a huge company able to compete on the world stage and would have been an important move to preserve the future of both companies in a climate of reduced defence spending, preserve local jobs, and cement European coordination and join the fragmented European defence market
. It was always ambitious since politicians in Britain, France and Germany would have to make a leap of faith and relinquish their current authority in the companies to a new pan-European entity that may not share their national priorities.
But the proposed deal had additional importance for the South West, where BAE Systems and Airbus parent firm EADS between them employ around 5,000 staff in the Bristol area. The Bristol Post carried an article today with the local response, which can be read here
It quotes a Union spokesman who said the deal "probably would not have meant that much to Filton as we are a standalone operation [but] It might have affected the company in other parts of the country but we were broadly in favour of it because it would have made both EADS and Airbus stronger companies.
However, the article confirms that BAE will still press ahead with the sale of Filton Airfield
which is due to close at the end of the year