ISTRES, France Dec 19 Dassault Aviation's
outgoing chief executive on Wednesday dismissed recent
speculation of a grand merger of French aerospace and defence
Laurent Dassault, a member of the family that controls the
business-to-combat jet maker, was quoted in October as saying he
supported a tie-up between French companies Dassault, Thales
, Safran and Zodiac Aerospace.
Without referring specifically to these remarks, Dassault
Aviation CEO Charles Edelstenne told reporters: "I know this
idea has come from somewhere. I have a piece of advice for you:
He was speaking on the sidelines of a drone presentation in
Edelstenne is due to step down in January but is expected to
remain an influential figure at Dassault Aviation, which is the
largest industrial shareholder in defence electronics maker
Laurent Dassault's proposal for a broad group dubbed "France
Aerospace" was never publicly embraced by the Dassault group and
was widely seen as a positioning move ahead of a family debate
over the succession to his father, 87-year-old Serge Dassault.
Edelstenne also said on Wednesday that Thales would name
former Vivendi chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy as its
new CEO on Thursday.
(Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer; Writing by Tim Hepher; Editing by