July 31, 2015 - 11:30 ( Brasília )

Defense

Airbus Group interested in boosting MBDA stake


European missile maker MBDA moved closer towards a reshuffle of ownership on Friday as Airbus Group signalled interest in expanding its share, while Italy's Finmeccanica said it would be open to selling "at the right price".

"We see MBDA as a ... core business; we are proud to be one of its leading shareholders and want to be in the future," Airbus Group Tom Enders told analysts in a conference call.

"If we can simplify it a little bit by having two partners in the future, that would already be a good step forward".

The comments came shortly after his counterpart at Finmeccannica said the Italian company would consider any offers for its stake after an increase in orders expected to happen in the next six months.

France-based Airbus Group and Britain's BAE Systems each own 37.5 percent, while Finmeccanica owns 25 percent.

Industry sources have said Airbus Group is exploring increasing its stake in tandem with BAE Systems as part of a wider move that could see Airbus cede its 50 percent share of turboprop maker ATR to its joint-venture partner Finmeccanica