LThe British engine manufacturer is far from seeing the exit of the tunnel. After announcing at the end of August a half-year loss almost equivalent to its turnover (£ 5.3bn for a turnover of £ 5.8bn), Rolls-Royce is now looking for ways to refinance itself. The Derby manufacturer earns the majority of his income based on the hours his engines are flown. However, forecasts for the recovery of long-haul traffic, in which Rolls-Royce is the market leader, have been revised downwards for the next two years.
Roll-Royce has therefore taken out a loan of £ 2.5bn and is now seeking to recapitalize to the tune of £ 5bn, in particular to face debt maturities of almost £ 4bn in 2021. Before the crisis, the company had already had to spend more than £ 2 billion in charges due to the problem of the Trent 1000 which equips the 787. It is therefore an already fragile company which must face the consequences of the Covid crisis. The decisions are drastic, with the departure of 10,000 employees, of whom 4,000 have already been made redundant.
But these measures would not be sufficient: according to analysts at JP Morgan, the engine manufacturer will need £ 6bn in cash to get through the period. This colossal amount in an uncertain market will be difficult to find. On the other hand, Rolls-Royce's industrial clout in Britain argues for state support. In 1971, London had already nationalized Rolls-Royce, and kept for a golden share to avoid any foreign takeover threatening the sovereignty of the company, and of the United Kingdom.
Alternative solutions have emerged, notably with the possible merger of the engine manufacturer with the industrial BAE. The creation of an aeronautics and defense champion would make industrial sense, at a time when BAE announces that it wants to increase to 2,500 people the team in charge of developing the future Tempest fighter, which has for some time been bringing together European interests. .