Acquisitions key for EADS’ US growth – CFO


European aerospace group EADS parent of Airbus, cannot meet its 2020 sales target in the United States without acquisitions, said its chief financial officer.

The company has targeted US$10 billion in non-Airbus sales in the United States by 2020.
“Organically we can’t make it to US$10 billion. So we are looking at acquisitions,” CFO Hans-Peter Ring said at an industry conference.

EADS is screening acquisition targets for the services side of its business, particularly in the security market, Ring said. EADS has announced three acquisitions in the last 15 days — each of less than $1 billion, Reuters reports.
“We will look at bigger targets than what we have done, but it is risky in this environment,” he said.

The company had about 11 billion euros (US$15.6 billion) in cash at the end of June.

The company has announced plans to buy Danish aircraft parts distributor Satair (SATA.CO), privately held satellite communications firm Vizada and US-based Metron Aviation. It has also completed the purchase of Canada’s Vector Aerospace this year.

Europe’s top aerospace company has tried to reduce reliance on the capital intensive and highly cyclical Airbus jet sales revenue stream. But the head of the company’s 13-person mergers and acquisition team has said EADS is under no pressure to do deals at any price.

CFO Ring also said EADS was in talks with its suppliers to encourage them to move towards the dollar zone.

EADS is doing so to hedge against currency losses. The company works in euros but sells in dollars.
“We are encouraging and pushing them towards the dollar,” Ring said.