SHANGHAI (Thomson Financial) - State-run Chinese aircraft manufacturer AVIC
I is considering investing in some of Airbus' European plants, the China
Business News reported, citing a senior company official.
"If a Chinese aerospace company could successfully buy or take a stake in
(Airbus plants), it would contribute hugely to the development of our industry,"
AVIC I general manager Lin Zuoming was quoted as saying at the Paris air show.
"China would become a very competitive supplier," he continued.
AVIC I, more formally known as China Aviation Industry Corp One, was not
immediately available to confirm the report.
However, a source close to the matter attending the Paris air show told
Agence France-Presse the chances of a Chinese firm buying an Airbus base
were extremely thin.
Under its Power8 restructuring plan, announced at the end of February,
Airbus has said it aims to sell its German plants in Laupheim and Varel, as well
as its facility in Saint Nazaire, France to investors.
The aircraft manufacturer is also looking for investors for its core
production plants in Meaulte, France; Nordenham, Germany; and Filton in the UK,
French aeronautical equipment supplier Latecoere has already confirmed it
has made a bid for Meaulte and Saint Nazaire, while Stork NV, Zodiac and
US-based Spirit Aerosystems have also been cited as candidates in the press.
In early May, French daily La Tribune reported that Airbus was to start
negotiations on the sale of the three plants in mid-May, and hoped to sign
agreements with the chosen buyers by the end of June or early July.
Airbus, meanwhile, has invested heavily in China and is now assembling a
plant for its A320 jets near Beijing.