EADS Said to Consider Adopting Name of Plane-Making Unit Airbus
European Aeronautic, Defence and Space Co. is looking at taking on the name of its better-known Airbus SAS unit as Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders boosts integration efforts, a person familiar with the plan said.
EADS directors may consider the change prior to the next earnings presentation on July 31, according to the person, who declined to be identified because no decision has yet been made.
The industrial conglomerate’s current name was adopted when French, German and Spanish companies combined their aerospace assets in 2000 to form a business better able to take on Boeing Co. (BA) in multi-billion dollar global markets for commercial and military aircraft, helicopters, space rockets and satellites.
A change in shareholder structure engineered by Enders may have aided the change by removing national veto rights and increasing the free float, with the CEO having said before that a switch would make sense. Since becoming chief last June, he has already adopted a single base in Toulouse, France -- home to Airbus -- instead of a dual headquarters in Paris and Munich.
EADS’s executive committee meets today and the board gathers next week, the person said. Both may mull a renaming in the context of a wider strategic review seeking to reposition the company’s defense assets, which it has struggled to grow.
EADS executives and investors including former co-chairman Jean-Luc Lagardere have long spoken about one day adopting the internationally familiar name of Airbus, which in 2012 produced two-thirds of group revenue and profit.
French newspaper La Tribune reported earlier today that the change was under consideration.
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