PARIS --- CNIM today announced the acquisition of an 85% equity interest in Airstar Aerospace from the Airstar group. Thales Alenia Space remains a minority shareholder alongside CNIM and a key industrial partner, particularly for the Stratobus stratospheric airship programme.
Airstar Aerospace is a leading designer and manufacturer of tethered balloons, stratospheric balloons (including aerostats able to ascend to and travel in the stratosphere), airships and thermal insulation for satellites.
Airstar Aerospace was founded in 2015, following the Airstar group’s takeover of Zodiac Marine's Space division. Through this acquisition, CNIM intends to become the European leader in balloon-and airship-based platforms for defense, security, inspection and space applications.
Airstar Aerospace works with major players in the defense and space industries, including CNES, Thales, the French military procurement agency DGA, Airbus Defense & Space and the Swedish Space Corporation. Airstar Aerospace, which employs 46 people near Toulouse, France, has been subject to bankruptcy protection measures since 16 October 2018.
Philippe Lazare, Chief Executive of CNIM's Industrial Systems division, which Airstar Aerospace will be joining, welcomes the acquisition: "CNIM has ambitious growth plans for this company, and in particular for the Condor range of tethered balloons designed for monitoring borders and sensitive areas. Such missions already feature among our market priorities, meaning that the tie-up with Airstar Aerospace will generate powerful synergies with the CNIM Group.
*Aerostat: lighter-than-air aircraft that gains its lift through the use of a buoyant gas
Founded in 1856, CNIM is a French equipment manufacturer and industrial contractor operating on a worldwide basis. The Group supplies products and services to major public and private sector organizations, local authorities and national governments in the Environment, Energy, Defense, and High Technology markets. The Group employs 2,613 staff and reported revenues of €689.8 million in 2018, 62.1 % of which was from exports.