EADS boss Enders rules out new attempt to merge with BAE

LONDON Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:29am EDT

EADS Chief Executive Tom Enders looks on ahead of an Extraordinary General Meeting in Amsterdam March 27, 2013. REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters/United Photos

EADS Chief Executive Tom Enders looks on ahead of an Extraordinary General Meeting in Amsterdam March 27, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Toussaint Kluiters/United Photos

LONDON (Reuters) - The chief executive of European aerospace firm EADS EAD.PA has ruled out another attempt to merge with Britain's BAE Systems (BAES.L), saying that both companies had moved on after the failure of last year's $45 billion deal.

In an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper on the eve of the Paris Air Show, Tom Enders said the deal, which was scuppered by political differences between Germany, France and Britain, would not be resurrected.

"This window is closed," he told the newspaper. "Both companies have moved on. The opportunity we saw a year ago has gone for years."

A tie-up between the Airbus owner and the British company would have created a European defense and aerospace giant, but the companies were unable to overcome political opposition, led by Germany.

Investors in EADS also had largely opposed the deal because it would have diluted their exposure to strong demand from airlines in emerging markets.

EADS is reviewing the strategy for its own defense arm, which makes drones, fighter jets and missiles.

Enders told The Sunday Times that the plans for the Cassidian unit would be discussed at a board meeting next month, but added: "We are not bailing out of defense."

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Jason Neely)