EADS CEO says "no taboos" in strategic review

Thu Mar 7, 2013 11:12am EST

EADS Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders addresses the annual news conference in Berlin February 27, 2013. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

EADS Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders addresses the annual news conference in Berlin February 27, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

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(Reuters) - EADS EAD.PA will have "no taboos" in a strategic review that will consider acquisitions and new structures for subsidiaries, Chief Executive Tom Enders said on Thursday.

Enders said the company will look at all aspects of its business, including a possible change in corporate structure.

Enders also said the ongoing problems with Boeing Co's (BA.N) 787 Dreamliner were likely to make regulators more cautious in certifying new aircraft. EADS' Airbus unit is Boeing's chief rival.

"It will not make it any easier" for regulators to certify aircraft, Enders said in a meeting with reporters in New York, after battery problems prompted the grounding of the entire 787 fleet globally in January. "They probably are a little more nervous about these new planes."

Enders, on a U.S. investor road show, said he would refrain from "schadenfreude," or taking pleasure in others' misfortune, over Boeing's troubles. "I can't say nothing will happen to the 350," he said, referring to the A350, the Airbus competitor to Boeing's 787.

"If the industry runs into trouble, it impacts not just one manufacturer but others as well."

Enders joked that "I am trying not to become a battery expert," as Boeing works through a solution to batteries that smoldered and burned on two 787s in January. "It's almost impossible to stay out of it."

He said EADS had not seen an increase in orders for the A350 as a result of the 787 grounding. He wished Boeing well in solving the battery problem. "This type of grounding is not good for the industry," he said.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is due later Thursday to issue a factual report on a 787 battery fire that occurred in Boston in January. The report is not expected to reveal what caused the fire.

On February 22 Boeing presented a proposal for how to fix the battery to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The agency is expected to let Boeing begin flight testing that solution within a few days, according to sources.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott and Ben Berkowitz; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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