Rolls-Royce sells Apache engine stake for £248m

Rolls-Royce has sold its 50pc stake in the engine programme that flies the Apache military helicopters in a deal worth £248m.

The British aerospace giant, the world’s second largest maker of aeroplane engines, confirmed the sale of its half of RTM322 programme to French company Safran’s subsidary Turbomeca.

The sale now gives Turbomeca full control of the design, production and support of the RTM322 engine, powering the Boeing Apache, AgustaWestland EH101 Merlin and NH90 helicopters.

Rolls-Royce stressed the deal would not affect the RRTM Ardour engine programme, which powers the Hawk and Jaguar aircraft, or any other of its helicopter engine ventures.

It added that it would transfer its operational responsibilities for the RTM322 to Turbomeca over a multi-year period.

The deal was first outlined in April for Safran to take control of a project dating back to the 1990s.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Zafar Khan, an analyst at Societe Generale, said the move represents a growing trend in the aerospace industry of companies cutting back on joint ventures.

“I think it’s a case of Rolls-Royce wanting control of businesses rather than being involved in a lot of joint-ventures, he said.

Mr Khan added the example of Airbus-owner EADS also signalling an intention to cut back on joint ventures as evidence.