EADS drops US acquisition to save money

European aerospace group EADS said it had abandoned a “significant” acquisition in the US in order to conserve cash and support Airbus plane sales to crisis-hit airlines. The Airbus parent company is under pressure to offer financing to buyers to ensure they honour contracts. Both Airbus and rival Boeing saw new plane business roughly halve […]


Airbus EADS


European aerospace group EADS said it had abandoned a “significant” acquisition in the US in order to conserve cash and support Airbus plane sales to crisis-hit airlines. The Airbus parent company is under pressure to offer financing to buyers to ensure they honour contracts. Both Airbus and rival Boeing saw new plane business roughly halve last year after a record 2007 as airlines faced first a record spike in oil prices and then a slump in passenger and cargo demand. “We want to protect cash so we are focusing and reducing our investment expenses,” EADS chief executive Louis Gallois told a news conference. “We need this cash to protect the company and sometimes support our suppliers,” he said. Both Boeing and Airbus have said they stand ready to increase financing as airlines seek alternatives to crisis-torn credit markets and most analysts foresee cuts in production. “We are not worried about the backlog of orders but the threat is to have delivery slots empty in 2009,” Gallois said.