PARIS --- French government and industry officials are negotiating a 1-billion-euro, privately led investment fund for small aerospace suppliers in which major manufacturers could invest 200 million euros, people familiar with the proposals said on Wednesday.
The scheme mirrors government-backed plans in France to help the automobile sector and comes as the aerospace industry seeks funding to help suppliers to overcome the coronavirus crisis.
Aircraft production has virtually halted since the pandemic shut down most travel, and many suppliers urgently need cash.
If adopted, the new “Aerofund 4” would follow on the heels of three similar packages for the industry dating back to 2004 and represent the largest effort to prop up one of France’s key export sectors.
Under current proposals, four companies - planemakers Airbus and Dassault Aviation, engine maker Safran and avionics firm Thales would contribute a fifth of the fund’s 1-billion-euro target, the sources said.
But there have been divisions over the best approach and no final sum has been agreed. (end of excerpt)
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