Airbus, the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and the Safran Group announced the launch of the AEROFUND II equity fund, capitalized at 75 M€ intended for the French aeronautical sector. The signature of the memorandum of understanding took place on the Airbus A380 Jean Luc Lagardère assembly site in Toulouse, in the presence of Luc Chatel, French Secretary of State in charge of Industry and Consumer Affairs and Government Spokesman, and Dominique Bussereau, French Secretary of State in charge of Transport.

The equity fund's objective is to support the development of the small and medium-sized subcontracting companies of the aeronautical sector. Additionally, it aims to accompany the growth and emergence of companies capable of becoming essential partners in the industry.

This announcement comes at a time when the aeronautical sector must face the many challenges generated by a weak dollar, the significant investments required by the current and future programmes and the plans for ever-increasing production ramp-up.

"We are glad to launch this equity fund aimed at providing capital and funding to the suppliers who are indispensable to our industry. This fund will help them innovate, embark on new programs and grow further", said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO.

Airbus and the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations will each contribute 30 M€ while the Safran Group will bring in 15 M€.

The initial 75 M€ investment fund could very rapidly be increased to reach 100 M€.

The setting up of this equity fund comes within the framework of the support plan for the aeronautical sector announced by the French Prime Minister in October

Airbus is an EADS company.