Dassault Aviation says Safran delays Thales deal

PARIS, July 28 Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:26am EDT

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PARIS, July 28 (Reuters) - Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA) head Charles Edelstenne said Safran (SAF.PA) was holding up talks to swap assets with Thales (TCFP.PA) in a government-backed deal to rationalise the two companies' defence businesses.

"Every time Thales proposes a solution, Safran refuses everything," Edelstenne told a news conference on Thursday. "Thales makes an effort and it's always 'no'."

"The valuations are at a level that is a bit extraordinary," he added.

Indsutry sources say that talks have hit an obstacle over a cash supplement which Safran wants Thales to pay for its optronics business as part of the deal.

Dassault Aviation is Thales' largest private shareholder, with a 26 percent stake. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by James Regan)

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