PARIS, June 30 (Reuters) - Airbus Group and Safran have formally closed a deal to make the merger of their space launch activities fully operational, industry sources said.
The long-awaited move completes the second phase of the creation of Airbus Safran Launchers and will be announced later on Thursday, the sources said.
The two firms are combining these activities in response to competition from private U.S. launch provider Space X and in order to prepare for the next version of Europe’s Ariane rocket.
Airbus and Safran were not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; editing by Michel Rose)