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February 27, 1989

AMBITIOUS SPANISH DEFENCE AND AVIATION ELECTRONICS FIRM CESELSA GETS NEW FUNDS

By CBR Staff Writer

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya has acquired 12% of Spanish defence and military aviation company Ceselsa for $16m. The move will strengthen the Bank’s presence in the electronics sector where it already participates in the activities of several small electronics companies, whilst Ceselsa will have extra financial backing for its plans to lead military electronics in Spain. Previously, Ceselsa’s capital was split between Inversora Madrilena, 70%, the French bank Paribas, 10%, with the remaining 20% traded on the Madrid stock exchange. This structure will hardly be modified by the Bank’s electronics foray which entitles it to a representative on Ceselsa’s gover-ning board. The deal comes at a time when the Spanish Ministry of Industry is pushing to incorporate Ceselsa into its own company Inisel, but negotiations there are not going well because of Ceselsa’s insistence that it must be the dominant force in the new entity. Ceselsa has thus been forced to look for business abroad and exports have become very important for the company. At the beginning of this year, Ceselsa signed a contract to supply a tactical operations and flight simulator for the A-7P Corsair III plane to the Portuguese Air Force, and was the main contractor in the European Space Agency’s Satellite project in French Guyana. Last year the company signed contracts with the Canary Islands administration, and with the Soviet Union for air traffic control equipment, as well as participating in the $85m Mirage III renovation project with CASA. Ceselsa was also involved in last July’s takeover bid of 40.6% of the French flight simulator producer Giravions Dorand SA, which paid off in September and made Ceselsa main shareholder in a company turning over $42.7m.

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