EADS, the European aerospace group has announced it will change its name to Airbus, the title of its booming civil aerospace division.
The decision has been taken in order to help streamline its inefficient pan-European business network.
As part of the re-structuring, all of EADS’ existing defence divisions will be regrouped into a single arm. The new defence grouping will be headquartered in Munich, the current headquarters for the group’s main defence company Cassidian.
Astrium, EADS’ satellite business, with UK locations in Portsmouth and Stevenage, and Airbus Military will now also report into Munich.
The consolidation of the defence business aims to bring greater focus to its activities but will also lead to widespread job losses across the group which employs 140,000 people in total.
“Pooling the space a defence entities is the group’s response to the changing market environment with flat or even shrinking defence and space budgets in the western hemisphere,” EADS said.
Tom Enders, EADS’ CEO said that the rebranding and restructuring announcement represented on “evolution not a revolution”. Certainly the possibility of elevating the Airbus brand above EADS had been mooted during talks with BAE Systems last year about a potential merger of the two businesses.
Mr Enders said that the rebranding was a logical step which “gathers the entire company under the best brand we have.”
Airbus was the main drive behind EADS’ strong financial results in 2012. The commercial aircraft manufacturers posted revenues of €36.9 billion.
The decision to rebrand and restructure EADS was approved at a board meeting on Tuesday, but will not be implemented until January 1 2014 pending regulatory and works council approvals.