Report: Airbus parent company to reorganize

PARIS (Reuters) - European aerospace group EADS is studying plans to reorganize into three divisions under the Airbus brand in a shake-up to be unveiled as early as next week, three sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The overhaul would bring all defense and space activities under one roof by splitting Airbus Military, which makes tankers and military transporters, away from the main planemaking division and combining it with the space and defence units.

A spokesman for EADS declined to comment.

Ohio is a major source of parts and expertise for Airbus and EADS.

The company is anxious to streamline a collection of German, French and Spanish businesses that created EADS in 2000, as it seeks to double margins to 10 percent by mid-decade and get a global lift from one of Europe’s best-known brands, Airbus.

The reorganization comes nine months after EADS was forced to abandon a bid to merge with UK defence firm BAE Systems , which was opposed by the German government.

In a bid to overcome German sensitivities about the future of its defence activities, the sources said the combined Airbus Defence & Space division would be based in Munich.

Based on 2012 figures, it would be responsible for a quarter of group revenues and profit instead of 10 percent each for the current EADS defence and space divisions known respectively as Cassidian and Astrium.

As part of the new identity, civil jetmaker Airbus may lengthen its name to clarify responsibilities, echoing the commercial unit of its arch-rival, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Even without military transporters such as the A400M and aerial tankers, an Airbus Commercial Aircraft unit would remain the group’s dominant division, with 68 percent of revenues based on 2012 accounts.

The third division, helicopter unit Eurocopter, will remain in France and is expected to call itself Airbus Helicopters.

Plans for individual units have taken shape as EADS fine-tunes plans to rebrand the parent company as the Airbus group.

It was originally named European Aeronautic, Defence and Space Company but the name, later shortened to EADS, failed to win broad recognition.

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