Safran tables €10 bn takeover offer for Zodiac Aerospace

French aircraft engine maker Safran SA is reported to have tabled a friendly €10-billion ($10.6 billion) takeover offer for  aerospace equipment and systems maker Zodiac Aerospace.

Citing unidentified sources, French daily Le Figaro yesterday said that the offer has been accepted by the Zodiac board and the merger would create a company with combined sales of around €21 billion.

The move comes more than five years after Safran dropped an offer for Zodiac, but has recently been seriously thinking of a merger.

Safran, which supplies engines to the 737 and A320 series narrow-body jets from Boeing Co and Airbus Group SE, had in April 2016, agreed to sell its explosives-detection arm to Smiths Group Plc in a deal valued at $710 million and two months later agreed to merge its space launchers business with Airbus into an equal European rocket joint venture.

Zodiac, which has a market value of €6.7 billion, is a global leader in aerospace equipment and systems on-board commercial, regional and business aircraft as well as helicopters.

Founded in 1896 by Maurice Mallet, the 120-year company designs and markets seats and cabin fittings, complex sanitary and food equipment, fuel circulation, oxygen and life support, electrical power management, cockpit controls and displays, lighting and actuators, hydraulics and controls, environment control systems, emergency evaluation systems, emergency arresting, interconnect, parachute and protection systems, elastomeric technologies & systems, telemetry, telecommunications and airbags.

The Plaisir, France-based company employs 35,000 people worldwide and has annual sales of €5.2 billion.

Paris-based Safran, formed through the 2005 merger between the aircraft and rocket engine manufacturer and aerospace component manufacturer group SNECMA and the security company SAGEM, is a French multinational aircraft engine, rocket engine, aerospace-component, defense, and security company.