The new chief executive of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space group (EADS) says the company is looking to acquire defence companies to grow the business and improve the balance between civilian and military sales.

Ex-co chief executive Louis Gallois, who became sole CEO of the company in a management shake-up announced on Monday, told French radio station Europe1 that EADS needs a better balance between civilian and military operations.

Currently, only 25-30% of EADS sales are derived from military and government orders, with the balance coming from civilian and commercial activities.

Mr Gallois says better balance could come from internal growth but subsidiary Airbus’s strong growth would make that difficult.

He says the alternative to acquisitions would be to branch out into new areas such as satellite operation.

EADS’s other ex-co chief executive Thomas Enders has taken over as head of Airbus Industries, while DaimlerChrysler executive Rudiger Grube has become the company’s sole chairman.

The company says the new structure will speed up decision making as it seeks fresh capital.

By staff writer