EADS Deals Majority Interest in Socata Unit to Daher

Pending approval from European business regulatory authorities, Socata parent company EADS has agreed to divest a 70 percent interest in its general aviation unit, Socata, to Daher. The latter is a European industrial conglomerate with interests in aerospace, nuclear power and the automotive industry. Socata's TBM series of single-engine turboprops are among the most successful in the world, with its latest, the TBM 850, enjoying strong sales. The series began two decades ago with the TBM 700. EADS' divestiture of Socata has been in the works for at least several months, and is said to be a reaction to EADS losses associated with the Airbus A380 program. In announcing the Daher association, EADS Socata CEO Jean-Michel Léonard said the new financial partnership will help in development of new aircraft models at Socata. The company's North American unit is headquartered in Florida.