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Dasa And Aerospatiale Matra To Be MergedTo Establish World's Third Largest Aerospace Company



DaimlerChrysler and Lagardere agree to combine their aerospace activities to create Europe's largest aerospace company ;
New company will be listed, joint stock company giving shareholders a unique opportunity to invest in European aerospace industry;
Solid basis for creation of high-tech jobs in Europe


DaimlerChrysler, the French Lagardère Group and the French State today announced that they have agreed to merge the respective aerospace and defense activities into a new company which will be the world's third largest aerospace company. The Franco-German corporation, to be called European Aeronautic, Defense and Space Company (EADS), will be created through the combination of Aerospatiale Matra SA and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG (Dasa) and will be Europe's largest aerospace company.

EADS will have revenues of approximately Euro 21 billion and employ more than 89,000 people. It will start operating in the first half of 2000 after approval by regulatory and supervisory authorities and the implementation of appropriate capital measures.

Dasa CEO Dr. Manfred Bischoff and Lagardère chairman Jean-Luc Lagardère will head the board of EADS. The operative business will be headed by a French and a German CEO. EADS will have dual headquarters in Munich and Paris. The corporation will be registered in the Netherlands.

The agreement will be signed in Strasbourg today, Thursday.

Schrempp described the merger as a ground-breaking contribution to European aerospace industrial integration, especially France and Germany's. "The merger will also enable DaimlerChrysler to lead from a position of strength which will result in a new dimension of profitable growth. We will be the driving force in the aerospace sector just as we are in the automotive industry. This also will unlock shareholder value," he added.

Lagardère: "Aerospatiale Matra looks forward to working together as part of the same company with colleagues to share our ambition and enthusiasm. Together, we will master new challenges in a spirit of optimism for the future. We are excited to open a new chapter in the history of European cooperation."

A holding company will control 60 percent of the new company, while the remaining 40 percent will be sold on the stock market. DaimlerChrysler AG and its French partners (Lagardère, a French financial institution and the French government) will each own half of the holding. The French government is to reduce its stake in EADS to 15% through a secondary offering of shares.

EADS, which will include in the near future the Spanish aerospace company, CASA, currently being merged with Dasa, will be the first truly international aerospace company in Europe. The combination of Aerospatiale's and Dasa's activities will make EADS:
- the world's second-largest civilian aircraft manufacturer through Airbus
- the world's market leader in helicopters through Eurocopter
- a world leader in satellite launching systems through Ariane and
- a leading provider of satellites, military aircraft and defense systems.

The creation of EADS is also a vital precondition to the establishment of Airbus as a truly integrated commercial enterprise.

The engine manufacturer MTU München will not be included in the new company and will continue as a DaimlerChrysler business unit.

"Both companies are ideal partners," said Dasa CEO Manfred Bischoff, "Dasa and Aerospatiale Matra have been working together in a wide range of European programs for years. We know each other, complement each other and have a proven track record working together.

"I have no doubt that with our depth of technological expertise, our track record of innovation, our incomparable portfolio of products and our broad geographical spread, we will achieve profitable growth and create secure, forward-looking jobs in Europe," Bischoff added. "For the first time, investors will have the opportunity to invest directly in the cutting-edge products of the European aerospace industry, like Airbus, Ariane and Eurofighter."

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Dasa And Aerospatiale Matra To Be MergedTo Establish World's Third Largest Aerospace Company