Europe to lose 10% control of jet fighters

The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) will sell its 10% stake in Russia's Irkut plane builder as part of a buyout offer called earlier by the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). The deal will cost UAC around $US90 million.

EADS had previously said it would convert its Irkut stake into shares in UAC, when the Russian state-controlled aerospace holding was set up last year.

UAC has offered to purchase Irkut stock in an attempt to net 49.9% of the company's charter capital in March 2008. Irkut shareholders will be able to swap their shares for UAC shares from a supplementary issue.

UAC owns 50.09% of Irkut shares. 38.22% are contributed by private shareholders and 11.89% are held by Sukhoi.

Irkut builds Sukhoi jet fighters for export to Asian countries.