VSMPO, Airbus Clinch $4Bln Deal

VSMPO-Avisma's stock soared Monday on the news that it had clinched a $4 billion deal to supply Airbus and its parent company, French and German aerospace giant EADS, with titanium products through 2020.

Airbus chief executive Thomas Enders signed the contract with Sergei Chemezov, head of VSMPO-Avisma's state-owned parent company, Russian Technologies, at a ceremony in Moscow attended by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The signing ceremony -- complete with champagne toasts -- came almost a year after the two sides announced the deal in July 2008. Kommersant reported in January that the deal would be signed shortly. VSMPO-Avisma's shares finished up 7 percent on the MICEX even as the exchange's 30-share index fell 4 percent.

"Our company will be meeting around 60 percent of Airbus's total titanium demand," Putin said, according to a transcript on the government web site. He said the supply contract increased Airbus's share of VSMPO-Avisma's exports to between 15 percent and 25 percent of the Russian company's total sales abroad.

VSMPO-Avisma, the world's largest titanium producer, exports about 70 percent of its production. Under the deal, it will supply all Airbus liners -- including the new generation models -- with flat-rolled and round titanium products and stampings.

Enders said the Russian company was not only providing Airbus with raw material but with refined titanium products as well.

"Today, we have taken a large step ahead in aero-industrial cooperation with our [Russian partners]," he said.