Lagardere says will leave EADS once A350 operational
French media conglomerate Lagardere will pull out of European defence group EADS, parent company of plane maker Airbus, once the new A350 airliner is operational, Lagardere head Arnaud Lagardere, said on Tuesday.
He told Les Echos newspaper: "Our disengagement from EADS -- it won't happen before the release of the A350.
"The criteria is not 2012, but the moment at which the A350 programme is totally assured technically and commercially."
Lagardere owns 7.5 percent of EADS but has said it wishes to sell its share in the aerospace group.
Under a French-German shareholder pact, a Frenchman is due to become chairman of EADS in 2012, with Lagardere expected to be the only candidate.
"When I say I am a candidate, it is because I want to be, but also because it was decided and written in 2007 that I would be the candidate proposed in 2012," Lagardere said.
The new long haul A350-900 is set to be delivered in 2013, but the release of two other versions of the plane has been delayed to as late as 2017.
Airbus announced on Tuesday that it had booked 1,015 net orders since the beginning of the year and delivered 334 planes including 13 jumbo A380's.
© 2011 AFP