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Airbus parent makes changes

PARIS, July 30 (Reuters) — The board of EADS gathered on Tuesday to vote on a reorganization that will see the European aerospace group adopt the name of its main Airbus subsidiary, industry sources said.

By retrenching to three units instead of four, the restyled “Airbus Group” aims to sharpen efforts to double its margins by mid-decade to catch up with rival Boeing and get a lift from one of Europe’s best known brands.

Ohio is home to several major suppliers of Airbus.

Barring a request by the company’s board to ask for more time to review the changes, the reorganization will be announced on Wednesday with first-half earnings that are expected to show flat operating income at the main Airbus plane making division.

Chief Executive Tom Enders launched a strategy review after failing to secure a merger with UK defence company BAE Systems and instead winning a shake-up in governance last year.

The main change will involve merging the defence and space divisions into one Munich-based unit, called Airbus Defence & Space. This will also incorporate Airbus Military, the Spanish operation which builds refuelling tankers and army transporters.

Eurocopter, the world’s largest civil rotary aircraft maker, will stay as a separate unit and will become Airbus Helicopters.

The core Airbus plane-making business, which makes up close to 70 percent of group revenues, should keep its one-word name.

Analysts say the changes are expected to cut some jobs.

EADS - originally European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co - resulted from the merger of French, German and Spanish assets in 2000.

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