EADS says to go on buying spree

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European aerospace group EADS, flush with cash, said Wednesday it is in the process of making acquisitions in the United States and elsewhere in the defence, security and other sectors.

EADS Chief Financial Officer Hans-Peter Ring said the company was working on using a cash pile of more than 10 billion euros to bolster the group's units other than aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

Airbus is EADS' principal business, alongside helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter and defence and security systems builder Cassidian.

EADS chief executive Louis Gallois explained the group is now "better prepared" to use the reserves than in the past, when "we had no clarity over the future" he told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference at the group's space division outside of Paris.

"We have already said that we had the means to make one to two billion euros worth of acquisitions in the defence, security and services in the United States, but not only," he added.

EADS has said that earnings would be difficult in 2011 but should improve from 2012.

The company got a boost after its subsidiary Airbus on Wednesday signed a $15.6-billion (12-billion-euro) deal to sell planes to Indian airline IndiGo.

Under the deal, the biggest in civil aviation history in terms of numbers ordered, the budget airline will buy 150 of the new A320neo jets to hit the market in 2016 plus 30 of current A320 single-aisle aircraft.

© 2011 AFP

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