The Plaisir, France-based company employs 35,000 people worldwide and has annual sales of 5.2 billion.
Safran, which is partnered with General Electric Co. in the CFM International alliance that makes engines for short-haul jets, is buying Zodiac after the cabin manufacturer's share price slumped nearly 22 percent over two years amid a logjam in the production of seats for Airbus Group SE's latest A350 wide-body.
From Safran's side, the agreement will reinforce its presence across all key aircraft programs, broaden product range, cut exposure to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cycles and boost a presence in strategic areas, such as critical systems and the more electric aircraft, which make up 40% of Zodiac Aerospace's activities.
The deal, supported by the French state, requires shareholders' approval.
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The deal is also expected to deliver a double-digit positive impact on earnings per share from the first year after the consolidation and hit Safran's return on capital employed (ROCE) target by year three.
Zodiac shares leaped by over 21 percent in early Paris stock exchange business to 28.31 euros, while Safran rose 2.3 percent to 68.84 euros.
Zodiac on Thursday posted a tweet saying it was beginning its annual shareholders meeting and presenting its proposed merger with Safran. "We are delighted to participate in the combination of two leaders of the industry with complementary positions and strong innovation abilities dedicated to their customers", said Didier Domange, chairman of Zodiac's supervisory board.
Zodiac rebuffed a takeover bid from Safran in 2010 but after a series of profit warnings accepted the latest offer.