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EADS Seeks Stake in Russian Aviation Giant UAC

European aerospace firm EADS said it would seek to acquire a stake in a giant Russian state aircraft holding, known as the United Aviation Corporation, by swapping its stake in warplane maker Irkut.

Airbus co-chief executive Tom Enders told reporters at a news conference at the MAKS-2007 airshow that the swap could be agreed within the next couple of months or by the end of the year.

United Aviation Corporation, known as UAC in Russia, was created by President Vladimir Putin last year as a way to revive Russia's once mightly aviation sector.

"As far as the Irkut share is concerned, this is an ongoing process, ongoing because of the creation of the UAC," Enders told reporters at the show in Zhukovsky, east of Moscow.

"Provided we get, let me put it that way, our fair value, we would prefer to swap it and become a shareholder of UAC."

EADS has a stake of about 10 percent in Irkut, which helps make Russia's flagship Sukhoi fighter jets.

Enders said no Russian companies or investors had shown an interest in buying a stake in the plants it aims to sell in Europe. "There is no interest from Russian investors," he said.

Last year Russia took a 5 percent stake in EADS and also has a five percent stake in the Airbus A-350 wide body airliner.

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