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Airbus, Safran Merge Space Launch Operations in Joint Venture

rocket-launchAirbus Group and Safran have completed the merger of their space launch operations through a joint venture in an effort to support commercial sector clients in Europe.

Safran will pay approximately $835 million to Airbus in order to acquire a 50-percent stake in Airbus Safran Launchers joint venture, Airbus said Thursday.

Airbus CEO Tom Enders said the finalization of the 2014 deal will help facilitate the development of the Ariane 6 launch vehicle that is scheduled to make its inaugural flight in 2020.

Airbus Safran Launchers, which has operations in Germany and France with approximately 8, 400 employees, will incorporate core business-related subsidiaries and assets of its parent companies following the completion of the merger.

Tim Hepher also reports for Reuters that debate over how the French government would consider Safran’s payment to Airbus for tax purposes delayed the deal’s finalization.

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