Activist fund TCI asks EADS to sell Dassault stake

PARIS Mon Aug 5, 2013 3:00am EDT

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PARIS Aug 5 (Reuters) - Activist hedge fund TCI has written to EADS' chief executive demanding the aerospace company sell its stake in Dassault Aviation, maker of the Rafale fighter jet, saying the 4 billion euro ($5.3 billion) holding was "a poor use of capital."

In a letter sent to Tom Enders on Friday, which has been seen by Reuters, TCI said EADS' 46 percent stake provided "no synergies" and had "limited strategic value" to the group, which plans to combine its defence and space units and take the name of its flagship brand Airbus.

TCI, which holds more than 1 percent of EADS' share capital, said the stake should be sold either via a trade sale or public offering, suggesting proceeds should be used to buy back shares or pay a special dividend.

The Financial Times cited a person close to the French group saying that senior management was likely to be sympathetic to TCI, but a shareholder pact with the French government, which controls 12 percent of EADS, meant EADS is not free to sell.

EADS was not immediately available to comment. ($1 = 0.7528 euros) (Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer and Elena Berton; Editing by David Holmes)

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