TI's Dowty authorised for French connection

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The Independent Online
TI GROUP and Snecma of France have received final regulatory and tax clearances for a joint venture pooling their Dowty and Messier-Bugatti aircraft landing gear interests into a new market-leading company with sales of pounds 250m and 2,300 employees, writes Terence Wilkinson.

Messier-Dowty International, a UK company, will have its headquarters in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Production is to be based at Gloucester, Bidos in France and three sites in Canada, with a co-ordination and design office in Velizy, France.

The two sides have agreed that Dowty Landing Gear is worth pounds 30m more than Messier-Bugatti, so TI will inject fewer net assets and receive the lion's share of profits for the first three years even though its landing gear sales are smaller.

Tony Edwards, who moves from Dowty Aerospace to become chairman and chief executive of Messier-Dowty, said both sides had restructured before setting up the new company. Dowty's head count had been cut 25 per cent since its pounds 500m acquisition by TI in 1992 - so no new factory closures were now planned.

Rationalisation costs would be incurred as the two businesses were integrated over the next three years, a process that would produce 'significant savings', Mr Edwards said.