French state pressures Thales, Safran on consolidation

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The French state has frozen orders worth 300 million euros placed with defence groups Thales and Safran, according to sources in the defence ministry, which is pressing the companies to consolidate some of their activities.

A ministry source said the decision did not amount to a cancellation and concerned "commitments to order" material this year.

The government owns stakes in both Thales and Safran. The decision to suspend orders is seen as increased state pressure on the groups to resume discussions, which ended in May, on combining some of their operations.

At the request of the government, Thales and Safran, active in aeronautics, defence and security, had been in talks for months on ending the parallel development of certain technologies.

© 2010 AFP

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