November 16, 2017 / 4:39 PM / a year ago

Safran seeks EU approval for Zodiac Aero deal, decision due by December 21

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - French aerospace group Safran (SAF.PA) has submitted its proposed $7.7 billion purchase of seats maker Zodiac Aerospace ZODC.PA to EU antitrust regulators for approval, with a decision due by Dec. 21, the European Commission said on Thursday.

The logo of Safran Group is seen on the company's headquarters building in Toulouse, Southwestern France, April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

The maker of aircraft engines, landing gear and military optronics won Zodiac’s approval for a friendly takeover at the second attempt earlier this year after the latter was weakened by industrial problems.

The aerospace industry has seen a wave of consolidation in recent months, including aerospace and industrial company United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) announcing a $23 billion plan to buy avionics maker Rockwell Collins Inc (COL.N) in September.

The EU competition authority can clear the Safran deal with or without concessions in the preliminary review or open a four-month long investigation if it has serious concerns that the deal may harm rivals and consumers.

Safran has said the deal would boost its position in making smarter and more connected aircraft.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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