Former Avions Marcel Dassault-Breguet Aviation formed from merger of Dassault and Breguet aircraft companies in December 1971; French government acquired 20 per cent of stock in January 1979, raised to 45.76 per cent in November 1981; present company name adopted June 1990. Of government shareholding, 10.75 per cent held double voting rights so that French government had majority (55 per cent) control. On 17 September 1992, Dassault joined with Aerospatiale in state-owned joint holding company, SOGEPA, which has 35 per cent holding in Dassault Aviation; Dassault and Aerospatiale then pooled resources and co-ordinated R&D strategy, although each remained separate entity.
French government intention to merge Aerospatiale and Dassault Aviation implemented after State relinquished control of Aerospatiale; agreement, ratified by shareholders on 23 December 1998, allocated government's shares in Dassault Aviation to Aerospatiale, but without double voting rights. Aerospatiale later became Aerospatiale Matra and then incorporated into EADS. Last-mentioned affirmed continued stake in Dassault on 27 June 2000 and this endorsed by shareholders on 4 September 2000.
Related measures include separation from Dassault Aviation of Dassault Systemes, this becoming Dassault Participations, owned 45.94 per cent by EADS, 50.01 per cent by Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault and 4.05 per cent privately. Dassault intention to separate civil and military businesses, with Falcon business jet activities concentrated at Biarritz, Maitignas and Seclin, plus Merignac for flight test, vetoed by Aerospatiale Matra on 30 June 1999. However, de facto partition implemented on 1 January 2000, on "internal and informal basis".
Employees total some 8,600 at 10 industrial sites: St Cloud (2,800), Argenteuil (1,350), Argonay (550), Biarritz (1,200), Merignac (1,150), Maitignas (400), Istres (800), Cazaux (50), Poitiers (150) and Seclin (250). Sales in 2002 totalled